HomeLifestyleWhen Will a New Car Need Its First MOT Test?

When Will a New Car Need Its First MOT Test?

Are you the proud owner of a brand new car? Congratulations! There’s nothing quite like that exhilarating feeling of driving off the lot in a shiny, untouched vehicle. But amidst all the excitement, it’s important not to overlook one crucial detail: when will a new car need its first MOT test?

MOT tests are an essential part of ensuring roadworthiness and safety for vehicles on UK roads. But do new cars actually need an MOT? And if so, when should you book it in? In this blog post, we’ll answer these burning questions and provide you with everything you need to know about scheduling your first MOT test for your sparkling new set of wheels. So buckle up, and let’s dive right in!

Do New Cars Need MOT?

Do New Cars Need MOT?

If you’re uncertain about whether a new car requires an MOT certificate to commence driving immediately, the necessity hinges on whether it’s brand new or pre-owned. For a newly purchased vehicle fresh from the manufacturer, an MOT isn’t required for the initial 3 years.

However, if you’re purchasing a used car, it’s prudent to request the previous MOT certificate before finalising the purchase. The absence of this certificate raises concerns and implies that the vehicle may have been inactive for an extended period. You can verify a vehicle’s previous MOT test history by reaching out to the DVSA.

When Should I Book in?

Booking your car for its MOT test is an important step to ensure its roadworthiness and legal compliance. But the question remains: when should you book it? Well, there are a few factors to consider.

Annually, registration plates are unveiled in March and September, prompting a surge in new car acquisitions as motorists typically await the latest plates. Consequently, alongside the rise in new car purchases during these months, there is also a substantial number of three-year-old vehicles with MOTs expiring in March and September.

To circumvent this heightened demand, we suggest scheduling your MOT earlier. For instance, consider booking in February rather than March or August rather than September. By doing so, you can rush and have greater flexibility in selecting both the location and timing of your appointment.

How to Prepare for an MOT?

How to Prepare for an MOT?

Preparing for your car’s MOT can help ensure that it passes with flying colors. Here are some simple steps you can take to get ready:

  1. Check your lights: Make sure all of your vehicle’s lights are working properly, including headlights, taillights, indicators, and brake lights.
  2. Inspect the tires: Check the tread depth and condition of your tires. Ensure they meet the legal requirements and there are no cuts or bulges.
  3. Test the brakes: Ensure that your brakes are in good working order by testing them before taking your car for its MOT.
  4. Review fluid levels: Check the levels of oil, coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid in your vehicle and top up if necessary.
  5. Examine wipers and mirrors: Ensure that all wipers blades are in good condition and replace any worn-out ones. Also check that all mirrors on the car adjust correctly.
  6. Cleanliness matters: Give both the interior and exterior of your vehicle a thorough clean before taking it for its MOT test.

By following these simple tips, you can improve the chances of passing your car’s first MOT test without any issues arising!

When Will a New Car Need Its First MOT Test?

While the majority of cars require an annual MOT, newly purchased vehicles have a grace period of three years before their first test is due. This extended timeframe is because the parts and components of new cars are typically unused and unlikely to exhibit signs of wear. Following this initial three-year period, the car will then adhere to the standard yearly MOT schedule.

Even though your vehicle isn’t legally mandated to undergo an MOT within this initial three-year period, we advise scheduling one earlier if you have any concerns or simply desire the assurance that everything is functioning correctly.

For more specific concerns, we provide complimentary checks covering key areas such as brakes, tyres, clutch, suspension, and more, ensuring that your vehicle receives expert attention and provides peace of mind.

Additionally, we strongly recommend annual servicing for your new car to maintain optimal performance. It’s important to note that servicing your car at Halfords will not invalidate your MOT.

Certain vehicles, such as ambulances and taxis, require an MOT after just one year. A comprehensive list of these specialised vehicles can be found on the Government’s MOT fees table.

It’s essential to remember that the first MOT must be completed by the third anniversary of the car’s registration, rather than the date of acquisition, to avoid any confusion regarding deadlines.

Which Vehicles Would Be Exempt From MOTs?

Which Vehicles Would Be Exempt From MOTs?

In the UK, most vehicles are required to undergo an annual MOT test once they reach three years old. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Certain types of vehicles may be exempt from needing an MOT.

One category of exempt vehicles is electric cars. This exemption applies to fully electric cars that do not have any combustion engines. Since these vehicles have fewer moving parts and emissions-related components, they generally require less maintenance and are considered more reliable.

However, certain vehicles are exempt from MOT testing. These exemptions typically apply to historic vehicles that have a build or first registration date over 40 years ago. Additionally, if there haven’t been any significant modifications made to the vehicle within the last 30 years, it may also qualify for exemption. Furthermore, vehicles that were previously exempted based on their first registration before 1960 continue to be exempt. For more detailed information on whether your vehicle qualifies for MOT exemption, refer to our guide on historic vehicles MOTs.

How Do I Find Out When My Car’s First MOT is Due?

Your initial MOT appointment is scheduled within three years of your vehicle’s initial registration. The most reliable method to determine this MOT date is by inspecting the V5C, commonly known as the logbook, which contains comprehensive information about your car. It is essential for every driver to keep their vehicle’s logbook stored securely, primarily because obtaining a replacement can be MOT cost, typically priced at £25.

Alternatively, the Gov.uk vehicle enquiry service offers another avenue for obtaining this information. However, it only provides the month of the car’s initial registration rather than the precise date. Despite this limitation, it can still offer a general timeframe to help you plan when to schedule your first MOT appointment.

What Happens if My New Car Fails Its MOT?

What Happens if My New Car Fails Its MOT?

In the event that your new car fails its MOT, standard procedures must be followed. Necessary repairs must be carried out to address any faults, and the vehicle must undergo a subsequent test to obtain a passing result. It is illegal to operate the vehicle without a valid and successfully passed MOT.

Although it is uncommon for a new car to fail its MOT, particularly during its initial test, it is not unheard of. However, such occurrences typically involve minor issues. Many initial MOT failures stem from relatively inconsequential matters such as misaligned headlights or worn-down windscreen wipers, which are usually rectified quickly and inexpensively. Nevertheless, these issues can present an inconvenience to drivers seeking a first-time MOT pass.

Some of these faults, including more serious mechanical issues, may potentially result from manufacturer errors. It is reasonable to assume that owners of brand new cars prioritise their maintenance. Hence, if a significant problem arises, it might have originated from the vehicle’s production phase. Such manufacturer defects are likely to be covered by warranty, particularly if the vehicle has been regularly serviced at an authorised garage.

Despite the high cost of brand new cars, there are drivers who can afford to operate them without worrying about potential damage. If you tend to drive your car aggressively, with erratic acceleration and braking, high-speed cornering, and treating it akin to a rally car, your MOT inspection might reveal accelerated wear and tear resulting from such driving behavior.


Knowing when a new car needs its first MOT test is essential for all vehicle owners. While there are some exemptions for certain vehicles, it is generally required after three years of the vehicle registration date. Booking in your MOT test in advance and being prepared can help ensure that your car passes with flying colors.

Remember to regularly check your car’s condition and address any issues promptly before the MOT test. This includes checking lights, tires, brakes, wipers, and other critical components. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of passing the MOT without any complications.

So remember to stay informed about when your new car needs its first MOT test because keeping up with maintenance not only keeps you on the right side of the law but also contributes to safer roads for everyone. Happy motoring!


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