Mechanic looking at the underside of a car

Book an MOT online

Find a trusted RAC Approved Garage and book online today

Book an MOT

It’s easy to book an MOT online at one of our local approved garages. You can trust them to meet the highest standards set by the RAC – which means honest pricing, quality work and exceptional customer service are guaranteed. Plus, all our garages are friendly and will explain everything in a jargon-free way, so you can book an MOT with confidence today.

The bonus of browsing through our hundreds of convenient locations is that you can compare MOT prices – helping you save on costs and ensure that you get the best value for money.


All our garages work to our Chartered Trading Standards Approved Customer Charter

Honest pricing

All work and the costs involved will be explained clearly

Exceptional customer service

We're friendly, straightforward and jargon-free

Booking an MOT

What is an MOT test?

A Ministry of Transport (MOT) test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards. Cars over three years old (four years in Northern Ireland) need to pass an MOT test every year. It’s illegal to drive a car without an up-to-date MOT certificate.

An MOT test involves multiple checks on your car, including the brakes and fuel system, seatbelts, windscreen wipers and mirrors. Find out more in our MOT checklist.

When do I need to book an MOT?

A car needs an MOT every year once it’s three years old (four years in Northern Ireland). Then it needs to be retested every year on the anniversary of its last MOT. Cars under three years old don’t need an MOT.

Once you’ve passed, you’ll get an MOT test certificate showing the date of the test and the expiry date. You can get your car retested up to a month (minus a day) before it expires and keep the original renewal date.

If your MOT is due, get a quote from an RAC approved garage near you and book your MOT online today.

How early can you book an MOT?

An MOT lasts for a year. The date it runs out is shown on your most recent MOT pass certificate. You can book an MOT near you up to one month (minus a day) before the due date and still keep the same renewal date.

For example: if your MOT runs out on 16 September, the earliest you can MOT your car and keep the same renewal date next year is 17 August. You can book an MOT earlier than this. But if you do, the renewal date will change to one year (minus a day) from the date your vehicle passed this MOT.

To find out when your MOT is and how early you can book it, use the GOV.UK tool.

How much is an MOT?

As MOTs are required by law, the government has set a maximum MOT price of £54.85 for a car and £29.65 for a motorbike.

As there’s no set cost, the cost of an MOT varies depending on the type of vehicle you have and the test centre. RAC Approved Garages promise fair prices to customers, ensuring that you won’t be overcharged. Get a quote to find out how much you’ll pay on the day of your MOT.

MOT due soon? Book online with our network

of RAC Approved Garages.

On the day of your MOT test

How long is an MOT?

An MOT test usually takes between 45 and 60 minutes. Just keep in mind that the garage could ask you to drop off your car in the morning and come back when it’s ready. This means you may be without your car for the whole day.

If your car fails the test and needs repairs, it can take longer. The test centre won’t let you drive away until the issues are fixed – unless your MOT certificate is still valid, or you’re driving the car to get repairs.

Although the test can be carried out quickly, to minimise disruption, you should find a local MOT garage near you.

What happens if I fail my MOT?

If your car fails its MOT:

  • You’ll get a ‘refusal of MOT certificate’ (VT30)
  • You can only drive away if your current MOT certificate is still valid and no ‘dangerous’ faults were listed in the MOT
  • You need to have your car repaired and retested

Your ‘refusal of MOT certificate’ will explain why your car failed its MOT test and it will show what needs to be fixed for it to pass. Ask your local garage for information on whether you require a full or partial MOT retest, as how much you pay will depend on the current state of your vehicle.

If you get your car tested, repaired and retested at the same test centre within 10 working days, you usually won’t have to pay an MOT retest fee. Sometimes there will be a partial retest fee to pay. Just ask your garage for more information.

If you drive a car that’s failed its MOT because of a ‘dangerous’ fault, you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three points on your licence.

To avoid failing your MOT test, maintain the condition of your car in between MOTs by booking a car service.

No, it’s illegal to drive a car without a valid MOT certificate. You could be prosecuted for doing so.

The only time you can drive without an MOT is if you’ve booked an MOT and are driving your car to the test. If you own a car but aren’t planning on driving it, you need to register your vehicle as off the road (SORN). Find out more about driving without an MOT.

If you have the faults in your car fixed at the test centre and re-tested no more than 10 working days after your MOT, it’s free. This is called a ‘partial retest’ – in other words, the garage just tests the parts that they’ve repaired.

If you take your car away for repairs somewhere else and get a partial retest within 10 working days, you’ll have to pay the partial retest fee (which is cheaper than a full MOT).

But if you don’t get your repairs finished within 10 working days, you’ll need to pay the full price for a full retest.

You can take your car to another garage for repairs or a re-test – unless you have ‘dangerous’ problems in your MOT report. Just remember if your old MOT has expired, you’ll need to be able to show a confirmation of your appointment to prove you aren’t driving anywhere else. Book online today.

Driving without a valid MOT makes your car insurance invalid, no matter when your cover is due to end. If you have an accident, this could leave you liable for big repair bills or worse. It’s best not the take the risk, book an MOT online today.

There are over 850 RAC Approved Garages across the UK who can run MOT tests, so it’s easy to find a trusted local garage for your MOT. Find an approved garage near me.

More information