The government offers a free MoT, tax and insurance checker to make sure a vehicle is legally allowed on UK roads. Here’s how to use it…
You don’t need to own the vehicle to check whether it’s MoT’d, taxed or insured, all you need is a reg number. Checking the MoT history of a car has never been easier too – especially handy when you’re looking at buying a used car. And if you don’t know when your car’s MoT or tax is due, the following is also essential reading.
So, if you are currently armed with the reg number of the car you would like to check, all you need to do is follow the steps below to check its tax, insurance and MoT status:
How to check a car’s tax and MoT
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How to check a car’s MoT history
There is another way to check only the MoT status of a vehicle. It is less well known but significantly more useful – especially when you are buying a second hand car. As above, follow the steps below to find out what to do:
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How to check a car is insured
Finally, and perhaps just as importantly, there is checking if a vehicle is insured. Information around insurance is a bit more sensitive and as such you can only legally find out whether or not your car (or a company car you can drive) is insured – unless you happen to be an insurance broker acting on behalf of a client. As before, follow the simple steps below to check a vehicle’s information:
Why these checks are important
The MoT checker tool can sometimes uncover a vehicle’s sketchy past. Using basic detective skills, a car which was tested three years ago with a mileage of 87,000 but tested this year with only 34,000 on the clock suggests something has gone awry. There could be a genuine reason, but it at least provides you with facts and questions you can ask the owner when inspecting a car.
There have also been a few revisions to the MoT testing process recently. For drivers of newer vehicles, defects found in an MoT test are now categorised differently. ‘Dangerous’ is an automatic fail, usually consisting of a fault which is an immediate risk to road safety and/or the environment. ‘Major’ is also an automatic fail – usually an issue which should be repaired immediately. ‘Minor’ will be recorded as an advisory and therefore allows the car to pass, although it is good practice to monitor the fault.
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The MoT history checker is one of the most useful tools available to a used car buyer. It tells you if an MoT has been failed, when it failed, why it failed, which advisories it had, and also the mileage when tested.
If your vehicle is more than three years old, you cannot drive without an MoT unless you’re on the way to a pre-booked MoT appointment otherwise you may be fined up to £1,000. However, as of 20th May 2018, most vehicles over 40 years old don’t need an MoT certificate.
Remember, it’s good practice to know when your MoT, tax and insurance are due so refer back to the government website if you don’t know. That is all there is to it, useful motoring information that is only a few clicks away.
Have you had any nasty surprises from a car purchase that could have been avoided using the services above? Let us know in the comments below…