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5 things our customers ask us about MOT

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Hot tips, Your questions answered

customer services

DVSA’s customer service centres answer around 4000 calls and 400 emails a day from MOT testers, operators, learner drivers and other members of the public. The team takes calls on anything from training courses to cars fitted with jet engines. We thought we’d take a look into some of the queries we’re getting about the MOT test – and some of the answers.

1 This is a common query from testers and presenters. A vehicle is taken in for test too early to be post dated and has lost the time. What can be done?

If a vehicle has been presented for test more than a month before the expiry date, then this can’t retrospectively be altered. The earliest date a vehicle can be presented is printed on the current test certificate and is also available on GOV.UK.

2 I want to fail a particular item on a modified vehicle. Is there any allowance for this?

Where a vehicle has been extensively modified or converted, Reasons for Rejection for components missing where fitted as standard should not be applied. For example:

  • a car converted for rally use (i.e. rear seats removed and fitted with a roll cage and full harness seat belts etc.) may have been converted so as not to require a brake servo or power steering
  • a car converted to a stretch limousine may no longer be fitted with curtain airbags

It’s also worth pointing out that Section 6.2 of the Manual on Seats and Doors, already contains a note in the Information Column which states: "Original design characteristics and specialised modifications (e.g. to enable wheelchair access) are to be accepted".

However, modifications can only be accepted so long as they comply with the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 and the Road Vehicles (Lighting) Regulations as amended.Can I test an unregistered vehicle?

3 Can I test an unregistered vehicle?

A vehicle that is not UK registered can still be MOT tested. To register a vehicle without a registration plate (e.g. an imported vehicle not yet UK registered) you’ll need to create a new record. Set the Registration Mark Descriptor to 'Not Required' and this will allow you to leave the Registration Mark field blank and register the test. Then complete the other fields as appropriate.Cherished transfer problems

4  Cherished transfer problems

We get many queries about cherished transfer around the time of an MOT, from both vehicle owners and testers. Vehicle owners have tried to tax their vehicle, despite not getting the VT20 updated following a number plate change. In other instances Nominated Testers have registered a test for a vehicle on its old Vehicle Registration Mark despite it having been changed since the last test. And in other cases owners have applied for a number plate change with DVLA, got it approved and then presented the vehicle for test with the old plates on it. So make sure your customers have all their paperwork and plates in order.

5 Testers sometimes ask how they’d know if a DPF/CAT was fitted as standard?

When it comes to knowing if a DPF/CAT was fitted as standard; until we can obtain the information and publish it, testers will have to use their experience and any other reliable source of information to identify if a DPF has been removed. If it can’t be positively identified that a DPF/CAT was fitted as standard, they will have to pass and advise.

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  1. Comment by Tim Holmes posted on

    Re-importing an originally UK registered car from France. Currently on French registration plates, although original English ones are still in my possession.

    DVLA tell me to re-import I need to get an MOT done on the VIN, but VOSA/DVSA refuse to let my MOT testing centre do this as the car has has French plates fitted. We have to get an MOT with the French Plates on the certificate.

    You'd have thought that this would be OK as the VIN number would be shown too - but DVLA are adamant that this is not good enough and the French registration mark cannot appear on the document. Compromise? We have to re test the car and get the garage to unscrew the plates first then everyone is happy.

    Thanks to Reed Autos in Foxton, Cambridgeshire for helping with this, and offering to do the retest for free.

    Note importing the car into France was a breeze, so long as you have the European Certificate of Conformity. Can't understand why bringing it back to the UK is so hard.

  2. Comment by Julie posted on

    Some years ago was it the practice that Mainland U.K. cars driven in N.I. did not have to have a MOT on their car until one year later than normal?

  3. Comment by JON posted on


    • Replies to JON>

      Comment by Tony S posted on

      Go by the Guide and Manual, All Tests, (including re-tests) must be carried out within the MOT Bay
      You really shouldn't ask questions like this.

  4. Comment by Juan Chain posted on

    I am moving from Spain with my car (LHD)
    How should I proceed then to register my car and change plates??

  5. Comment by John cunliffe posted on

    I have a 1994 mx5 import, are these required to have a emmisons test as I believe there was a transmission period from 92-94 where they weren't required to have them so a cat is not needed can you clear this up

    • Replies to John cunliffe>

      Comment by Matters of Testing posted on

      Hi John,

      In order to help you with your query, please supply us with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the vehicles date of first use (if you know it).

      Kind regards,

  6. Comment by Mike posted on

    i've just had my MOT today (12th Oct 2015) when its expiry date was 1st Nov 2015. It failed on a rear light which was fixed and retested as passed. However, the expiry date is now shown as 12th Oct 2016 and not 1st Nov 2016. Is this correct?

  7. Comment by Jamie posted on

    Hi when you not an unregistered vehicle what do you put for first registration date as it is not yet registered?
    Cheers Jamie

    • Replies to Jamie>

      Comment by craig posted on

      you should put in 01/01 and what ever year the car/van is as when it has been give a uk reg the right age will be put on it.

  8. Comment by John Birkby posted on

    If my car has an MOT certificate six months after the test and I wish to sell it with a full 12 month MOT, can I take it for a new test.
    If it fails can I just have the item on which it fails repaired and still run on the old certificate or does the new test cancel out the old certificate causing me to have to have a new MOT test. where I will gain a full twelve months certificate.
    In other words, once I take if for a new test and it fails, do I have to have a full MOT test.?

  9. Comment by Annesh posted on

    If I buy a vehicle from a private seller, can I use the existing mot until it runs out or do I need to get another MOT done? In other words, is MOT transferable?

  10. Comment by A poxon posted on


  11. Comment by david williams posted on

    Quite correct, if chassis number and reg. number are put on the system and it recognizes it with a match, then you test the vehicle as is, regardless of any paperwork presented or not.

  12. Comment by Douglas posted on

    Could you exspand on item 4 as you implie you need the paperwork to test the car as we all know you test what is front of you "test as presented"

  13. Comment by margaret posted on

    Can you leave your car on the highway with no mot and insurance