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 test.
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 MOT 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 test 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, including regular car servicing — that should be that. You’ll receive your certificate, pay your bill, and you can relax until you get your next MOT test 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. It’s also worth remembering that you can get your MOT test up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date. For example, if your MOT runs out on 15 May, the earliest you can get an MOT test to keep the same renewal date for next year is 16 April.
What if my car fails its MOT test?
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 test, 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.