How to Check a Car’s MOT History

When you’re searching for a new car among the plethora of classifieds out there, one of the things you want to keep a keen eye out for will be an MOT history. As a prospective buyer, an MOT history will not only help you get the best idea of the condition of the vehicle, but also let you see any repairs that it has been through in the past.

While your MOT history may not have too much influence on a quote for a scrap car, if your vehicle is in a condition where salvage may be a viable option, then your MOT history could become very useful and even get you a higher quote.

Blue MOT service sign on british road on cloudy rainy day

How can I check MOT history?

The easiest way to check a vehicle’s MOT history is via the MOT history checker, which allows you to see the results of any vehicle’s previous tests from 2005 onwards, including certificates, providing you have the 11-digit number from the vehicle’s V5C log book. These have details on any parts that had failed (including any minor problems, known as “advisories”), as well as the mileage recorded at the time of test, where the test was carried out and when it’s next MOT is due. Use our in-depth guide on how to check the MOT status of a car.

What is an MOT history?

Here in the UK, any car over three years old is legally required to have an annual test to assess its roadworthiness. An MOT, which stands for Ministry of Transport, the test sees the vehicle put through a strict series of checks to ensure there are no issues with lights, steering, suspension, emissions and general safety. Providing no issues arise then you will be provided with an MOT certificate to show that the car has passed its test, however if any of the tests come back as a failure, you must fix the problems before you will be legally allowed back on the road. In many cases, drivers who suffer these circumstances find it more beneficial to scrap their car.

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Why check the MOT status of a vehicle?

Knowing your MOT history can be highly beneficial when you’re trying to sell your car, as they provide you with proof of the care your vehicle has had during your ownership. It’s also useful to prospective buyers, because the check will also flag up any parts that may have been repaired during a retest, which can help identify both age and condition of a number of major components, and give a history of the car’s mileage. This can show up any warning signs if you’re concerned the car may have been clocked.

What happens if a vehicle shows as having no valid MOT certificate?

This is not always as bad as it seems, and if anything can show a prospective buyer that you rectified the problem as soon as possible. It is not always that the failure has been caused by any major faults that will affect the price of the car. For example, the most common reason for failure is a blown light bulb, and after a swift change of a lightbulb the car will be back to top condition and getting you the best possible prices. If getting the vehicle back to a test-passable state simply isn’t worth it, you can still easily sell it without an MOT.

Can you block MOT history searches?

MOT history is recorded by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and is open to all to be checked – it’s one of the most viewed pages on the Government website and has even had 18,000 hits on Christmas Day.

As the information recorded in your car’s MOT history is public information, with the only required details needed to access records being the car’s registration plate, there is no way to block anyone from accessing your MOT history.

What does it mean if a vehicle has no MOT history?

Cars are only required to have an MOT after they reach three years old, so if you’re searching for the history on a relatively new car, don’t be surprised if you can’t see any MOT history as, simply put, it won’t have one. In some cases, the vehicle might not even need an MOT at all. Goods vehicles, tractors and cars over 40 years old (providing there’s been no major modifications in the last 30 years) are all MOT exempt.

Has your car recently failed its MOT and you’re now looking at a hefty bill to get it back on the road? Why not let us take it off your hands and even pay you for the privilege? Get started on scrapping your car near you today and we’ll help you secure a quote and discover how much your scrap car may be worth.

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