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The benefits of completing a car MOT check
An MOT check could uncover a host of hidden details when you’re buying a car, that determines whether you’re buying into someone else’s problems or not.
There are a variety of reasons for taking advantage of the DVLA MOT check and the additional services that provide even more information, should you need it.
The MOT check online
The vehicle MOT check is a straightforward procedure—all you need is a registration number.
With only a couple of clicks, you can find out:
- If the car passed or failed any MOT test since 2005
- The mileage recorded at each test
- What parts failed at each test, and if any parts had minor problems
- When its next MOT is due
You can also find out where each test took place, but you’ll need the vehicle logbook V5C number for that.
The results of an MOT test are available as soon as the test centre has recorded the result. This includes MOT test fails and retests.
Why should I check my MOT history?
If the car in question hasn’t got a valid MOT certificate, then it’s not guaranteed to be safe to drive. If you’re considering buying a car, you might already know that it’s not in the best condition, but by using the checker, you’ll be able to track down the problem areas where it failed its test.
This gives you a far better idea on what it would take to make the vehicle roadworthy again.
You’ll also be able to see the problems it faced in the past, and the work carried out to make it safe again.
Check the MOT status for its current pass or fail position
If you’re thinking of buying a car and have no idea whether it’s got an MOT certificate or not, this is the easiest way to find out.
Can I check my MOT and tax in the same place?
You can, if you consider the entire Gov.co.uk website one place, but you’ll need to visit a different page.
The test is just as simple as checking for an MOT. All you need, once again, is the registration number.
What information can an MOT check provide?
The most important information an MOT check provides are the issues where a car has failed the test and lesser issues known as ‘advisories’.
Advisories are problems found during the test that need to be monitored and most likely repaired at some point in the future. They’re not a serious enough problem to fail the MOT, but they could well develop to be serious enough to fail one in the future.
When a car fails the test, there is a list of ‘major defects’ that require immediate attention and repair.
What the DVSA has to say about their MOT history data
The idea of making the MOT data available to everyone was a great opportunity to help drivers keep on top of when their tests were due and to avoid accidental driving of an unfit-for-use vehicle.
However, the provision of MOT data is of great use for businesses too.
The MOT history page was rebuilt in 2015 to simplify the service and make it easier for anyone to acquire valuable information. The previous version required the operator to have the certificate number before they could access the data, and that proved to be a big issue for car buyers investigating new purchase vehicles.
With 4.5 million visits a month, it’s one of the top 10 government services. The majority are individuals who need a reminder of when their next test is due. However, it was uncovered that many small and large businesses were using the data.
Garages and vehicle sales outlets use the data to help provide more honest information to their customers about the cars they sell. And why shouldn’t they? It adds to the level of customer service they offer, after all.
The DVSA decided to create a new way for any business to access large chunks of data in one go, without having to type in hundreds of different registration numbers.
So the MOT history API was born (Application Programming Interface).
The MOT history API is used to access:
- Test date
- Expiry date
- Mileage reading
- Test number
- Reasons for failure and advisory notices
- First MOT due date for new vehicles
This information has proven incredibly useful for businesses operating in:
- Car buyers at auctions retrieving vehicle status details
- Car insurance companies uncovering how well vehicles are being maintained
- Validating mileages for car sales
- Tracing fraudulent mileages
- Providing compliance data for large vehicle fleet companies
- The inclusion of apps into 3rd party websites, as reminders or to alert individuals of potential and likely test fail points
The API provides car information websites with facilities to be able to offer their own “Check my MOT” tool, or as a direct script to “MOT check: Gov” type links.
The MOT test is an essential part of vehicle safety—probably one of the most. It ensures that our cars are in good working condition and that our passengers, other road users and pedestrians will be as safe as possible when we take to the roads.
Keeping a vehicle MOT up-to-date is, therefore, imperative. Yet many people still manage to forget to have their car MOT carried out and are in danger of not only a considerable fine but invalidating their road tax and car insurance.
So, how can you avoid ever forgetting your MOT check ever again?
The Gov.co.uk MOT reminder service
You can receive MOT reminders direct from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) website.
To sign up for FREE, all you need is your vehicle registration and a mobile phone number or email address.
Sign up, and you’ll receive:
- A reminder 1 month before your car, van or motorcycle MOT test is due
- A reminder 2 months before a lorry, bus or large trailer MOT test is due
When registering for text reminders, you’ll receive an activation code to complete the service. When registering for email reminders, you’ll be required to activate your email address by clicking a simple link provided in the email.
There will come a time when you need to stop these messages—and that’s just as simple. If you sell the car, transfer it to someone else, have it scrapped, write it off or register is SORN, it’s a simple process to cancel the messaging service.
You can unsubscribe by following the instructions provided in any text message, or clicking on the unsubscribe link in an email.
Now there’s no reason to ever miss another MOT test again.