Efficient planning for factoring in MOT test length, fails, retests and repairs

We recently covered how to check your MOT and road tax status online using the DVLA checking tool. If you were smart, you’d have taken advantage of their email and text reminder service, which gives you 1 month to plan for and pass your MOT.

With a month to play with, you should have plenty of time. But for many, it still gets overlooked and left to the last minute. There are many ways to fail the test, so you could need much more than the half-day it should take to deliver your car to the garage, the MOT test duration and the time it takes to collect it again.

How long should an MOT take?

The test itself is a fairly straightforward procedure for your mechanic, and should only take 45 minutes to an hour to carry out.

If you’re lucky, or you’ve methodically looked after and taken care of your car’s condition and operation—that should be that. You’ll receive your certificate, pay your bill, and you can relax until you get your next reminder in 11 or 12 months time.

Plan for every eventuality

It’s a good idea to plan in a manner where you expect to fail. If your usual garage is difficult to book with because they’re busy or popular, then you should plan well in advance to guarantee a booking.

What if you fail?

Maybe the question you should be asking is, ‘How long does an MOT take if your vehicle fails the test?’

If you fail, then all of a sudden, the question of how long does an MOT take to do becomes significantly longer. You’ve got to factor in the repairs it’s going to take to pass—and that could add more time than you’d planned for.

If your car fails its MOT, if you’ve planned well in advance, you should still have up to a month of valid MOT left on your existing certificate. This gives you time to sort out any issues without losing the use of your vehicle.

Factor in additional work to pass your MOT certificate

An MOT fail could mean a lot of extra work. In a lot of cases, minor issues that cause a car to fail the test can be carried out at the time of the test or shortly after.

Most testing centres will allow retests shortly after the initial test if all it means is checking that the failed component or issue has been rectified.

But what if your car needs some serious work or parts that need ordering in specially?

If you’ve booked your MOT test for the week it runs out then you could be in trouble. Despite the popular misconceptions, there is no grace period for failed vehicles, and a failed MOT will mean you can’t use your car.

Book as early as possible

The DVLA gives you a month’s warning if you choose to use their electronic reminders—and we recommend you use it.

You’ve got nothing to lose, after all. Any time between your test and when your current certificate runs out is added to the new MOT period.

There isn’t a single good reason to put off your MOT, only good reasons to book in early.

Plan smart with smart-tech

We know we’re teaching grandma to suck eggs here, but in today’s world, there’s no reason to forget anything.

We’ve already told you that checking your MOT renewal online is easy, and that the DVLA can remind you when it’s due, but there are methods closer to home too.

Every one of us has a phone with a calendar that’s never more than a couple of feet away from us. Put an annual reminder in your diary with a warning alert for a month in advance.

How to prepare

  • Book your MOT as early as possible – use the whole month wherever possible

That’s the number one in our book. Use the full month to be sure that nothing can go wrong.

Then, here’s what the inspectors will be checking for, so you can prepare in advance when it’s approaching MOT time:

  • Brakes – does your handbrake pull to the roof? Is the pedal overly spongy?
  • Tyres – keep an eye on tyre depth and condition
  • Suspension – are your shock absorbers showing signs of corrosion or wear?
  • Steering – including the condition and operation of your steering wheel
  • Electrical components – keep your lights clean and ensure all bulbs are working
  • Seats and seatbelts – are your seatbelts working well?
  • Exhaust and emissions – check your exhaust system for leaking joints and holes
  • Windscreen and mirrors – check for chips and windscreen wiper condition
  • Number plates – you can fail for something as simple as dirty number plates you can’t read—so don’t!

If you’ve got any more questions about the MOT system, however simple, take a look at the MOT FAQ we put together earlier this year. It answers a lot of questions we get asked regularly.

If there’s anything else we haven’t covered in that or any other item in our blog, call one of our advisors today. They’ll be able to answer everything you could possibly need to know.

For a speedy service that doesn’t eat into your busy life – choose Fixter

We pride ourselves on providing an incredible timesaving system when it comes to vehicle servicing, all repairs and carrying out your MOT. If it’s time for your test, and you’re wondering “How long does an MOT take to do when I choose Fixter to take care of things for me?” The answer is, ‘less than you think’.

We save you bags of time

Although we can’t guarantee shorter tests or faster bookings, we can save you time that you’d usually spend organising for the vehicle test.

  • Choose a time and a date that suits you – our online system usually provides bookings within a couple of days. Not only can you be booked in within a few days, you can do it from your sofa, without making a single call.
  • We collect your car – that’s right, no driving to the testing centre or garage, or finding a way to get back home or something to do while the work is carried out.
  • We bring it back! You don’t have to lift a finger. We have the least impact system on your time there is.

If you found this article because you wanted to know how long does it take to do an MOT and how much time will you need away from home or work, then with Fixter, none of that matters.

We’ll collect the vehicle from wherever suits you. It won’t impact on your day at all.

How long is an MOT? Well, with Fixter, you won’t even notice you’re getting one.


About Fixter

Fixter is revolutionising the car maintenance industry, one repair at a time. Fixter was founded to make car maintenance as easy as booking a taxi. Digital, transparent and stress-free, with world-class customer service. Since launching in Manchester in 2017, Fixter has expanded to more than 100 cities across the UK and provided thousands of car owners with honest, convenient and affordable car repair services.