MoT Testing


Getting the most out of your M.O.T

The M.O.T certificate confirms that at the time of the test, without dismantling it, the vehicle met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. It doesn’t mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the length of time the certificate is valid.

The M.O.T certificate is also no guarantee of the general mechanical condition of your vehicle. The test doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox.

We offer a discount on M.O.T’s when booked alongside a service for the same vehicle.

What the M.O.T test includes

The M.O.T looks at some important items on your car to see that they meet key legal requirements at the time of test: 

The body and vehicle structure
Needs to be free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas and there are no sharp edges likely to cause injury.

The fuel System
Has no leaks and the fuel cap fastens and seals securely.
The fuel cap will need to be opened so be sure the key is available.

The exhaust emissions
The vehicle meets the requirements for exhaust emissions,
dependent on the age and fuel type of the vehicle.

The exhaust system
Needs to be secure, complete, without serious leaks and silences effectively.

The seat belts
All belts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seat belts must be in place.

The seats
The front seats are secure. Front and rear backseats can be
secured in the upright position.

MoT Reminder Service

Sign up to our free MoT Reminder Service. It is so easy to forget when your MoT Test is due. Sign up to our Reminder Service to receive a reminder, either by SMS text or by email. We will also add you to our email list to receive special offers from time to time, but we never allow your details to be used by anyone else.

Your First Name (required)

Your Last Name (required)

Vehicle Registration (required)

Your Mobile

Your Email (required)

MoT Due Date (only required if we have not performed an MoT on your vehicle before)

Untick the above box if you do NOT wish us to add you to our email list. If you subscribe, your details will only be used by Sandhurst MoT to inform you of any special promotions, discounts etc. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The MOT Test - Your Questions Answered

Click on one of the elements in the first column below to reveal a full description in the second column:

MoT Fees and Classes

Click on the image to open a larger view.


Exhaust Emissions
Exhaust System
Fuel System

Load Security
Registration Plates
Seat Belts

Steering And Suspension
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Tyres and Wheels
Wipers and Washer

If the vehicle is brought back to the same test station and Re-Tested before the end of the next working day on one or more of the following items only:

Access Panels
Boot Lid
Brake Pedal Anti-slip
Break Glass Hammer**
Doors (including hinges, catches and pillars)
Door Open Warning Device**
Electrical Wiring
Emergency Exits and Signs**
Entrance Door Remote Control** Entrance/exit Steps**
Fuel Filler Cap
Headlamp Cleaning or Levelling Devices(not requiring a headlamp aim check)
Lamps (excluding headlamp aim)
Loading Door Main Beam ‘tell-tale’
Rear Reflectors
Registration Plates
Seat Belts (but not anchorages)
Seat Belt Load Limiter
Seat Belt Pre-tensioner
Sharp Edges or Projections Stairs**
Steering Wheel
Towbars (excluding body around anchorage points)
Trailer Electrical Sockets
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Windscreen and Glass
Windscreen Wipers/Washers
Wheels* and Tyres*

* Excludes Class 1 and 2
** Class 5 Only

If the vehicle is left at the testing station for repair and is Re-Tested within 10 working days, then only a partial Re-Test is needed for which 


If the vehicle is removed from the test station for repair and returned for Re-Test within 10 working days, only a partial Re-Test is needed.



*ONLY ONE FREE RE-TEST is permissible per MOT

In certain cases we may not be able to Test your vehicle, for the following reasons:

  1. If you do not have and we need the registration document, or other evidence of the date of first use, to ensure the MOT Test can be properly carried out
  2. If your vehicle, or any part or equipment on the vehicle, is so dirty that examination is unreasonably difficult
  3. In the Tester’s opinion, the vehicle is not fit to be driven, when necessary, to complete the test because of lack of Fuel, Oil, or for any other reason.
  4. If the vehicle has an insecure load, or other items, that would prevent a safe and proper test being carried out – Unless the load is secured or removed.
  5. The MOT Test Fee is not paid in advance, if requested.
  6. The vehicle emits substantial quantities of preventable smoke.
  7. If it is not possible to open any of the following:

Doors, Tailgate, Boot Lid, Bonnet / Engine Cover, or Fuel Filler Cap.

  1. Due to the condition of your vehicle, the MOT Tester is of the opinion that a proper examination would involve the risk of injury to any person, damage to the vehicle, or other property.

This Would Cover Refusal To Test A Diesel Engine Vehicle Where The Maintenance History Or Condition Was Suspect.

  1. The vehicle cannot be identified because it does not have a Vehicle Registration Mark – VIN – Chassis or Frame Number or, that these markings are illegible or use letters and numbers not normally used in the English language
  2. The vehicle is of a size, weight or configuration that cannot be properly, or safely tested, on the facilities for which we have approval.
  3. In the case of classes I or II – We must not test any motorcycle if the frame is stamped with “not for road use” or words to that effect.

Note: Should a reason for refusal be discovered during an MOT despite initial care when conducting the pre-test inspection then, the test must be terminated and no fee charged.

You may request a “Refusal to Test” decision in writing.

There are different tests for Petrol and Diesel engines:

 Diesel Engines

Initially the MOT Tester will check the maintenance history of your vehicle by asking you some questions, if they think that the Diesel Smoke Test may damage your engine, they must refuse to test it.

The Diesel Smoke Test

After checking the oil temperature to ensure the engine is warm the tester will accelerate the engine from idle until the governor cuts in up to a maximum of 6 times. Your engine will not be held at full speed for any length of time. If your engine has been properly maintained, the test should not cause damage to your engine.

Please tell the tester if you think The Smoke Test may damage your engine

To reduce the possibility of damage and increase the chances of passing you should:

  •  keep your vehicle maintained at all times
  •  have the camshaft drive belt replaced at the recommended intervals
  • go for the test with a fully warmed up engine – it will produce less smoke and is safer to test
  • do not tamper with the governor settings. They are set to help ensure the engine runs efficiently.

Petrol Engines

If Your Vehicle Was First Registered Before The 1st August 1975 Then It Is Only Subject To A Visual Assessment.

The test for Petrol engine vehicles after this date involves checking the exhaust gas emissions for concentrations of

  •  Hydrocarbons (HC) – which is made up of un-burnt fuel and oil.
  •  Carbon Monoxide (CO) – which is a by-product of combustion and a toxic gas.
  •  And on most Catalytic Converter equipped vehicles;

 Oxygen – This is known as the Lambda value and is an indicator of combustion efficiency.

Petrol Engine Emission Test

After checking the oil temperature to ensure the engine is warm (60 deg. C) the tester may take readings at idle speed between 450-1,500 rpm and also at increased rev’s at a range between 2,500-3,000 rpm (depending on the test required) The Gas Analyser automatically prompts the tester for the correct procedure.


Most Catalytic Converter equipped vehicles

 200 ppm Hydrocarbon – 0.2 – 0.3% Carbon Monoxide – 0.97-1.03 Lambda. Although these figures may vary depending on the manufacturers specification.

For Non-Catalytic Converter equipped vehicles

 1,200 ppm Hydrocarbon and between 3.5 – 4.5% Carbon Monoxide (depending on the vehicle age)


As well as the main Load Bearing Members on a vehicle, there are certain areas of the structure that are particularly important for the safety of your vehicle and particular attention is given to these “Prescribed Areas” they include the load bearing and component mountings relating to; Steering, Suspension, Brakes and Seat Belts and also include any load bearing or supporting structure within 30cm of the mounting location of these components.

The Tester will visually check these areas for excessive corrosion, then by using finger and thumb pressure will ensure that the metal does not give way and if necessary by careful scraping and tapping using a special Corrosion Assessment Tool


If there are holes in the vehicle bodywork caused by rust it may not necessarily fail the MOT

The MOT testing regulations, state that the criterion for failure is “A sharp edge or projection caused by corrosion which renders the vehicle dangerous to other road users, including pedestrians”

The MOT Tester will use their experience and judgement to decide if this applicable.

You can appeal a failed test result by filling in an appeal form ‘VT17’. Available from any MOT test centre or by calling:

Vehicle Operator Standards Agency (VOSA)
0300 123 9000

Your appeal must be received within 14 working days of the test.

VOSA will then offer you an appointment within 5 days to recheck your vehlcle,and you’ll need to pay the full test fee again. If your appeal is successful, then some or all of the test fee will be refunded to you.

For a lot more information on the MoT test, including a list of exempt vehicles, see the official Ministry of Transport website

To check the MoT status of your vehicle, go to the MoT Check website