How Long Does An MOT Take?

An MOT is a requirement of any car that’s over three years old and it can be done in as little as 45 to 60 minutes. However, if there are any dangerous or major defects found during the MOT, the length of time it takes to get your MOT certificate can be a lot longer.

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How Long Does An MOT Take
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Whether it’s your first time taking a car to an MOT or you’ve simply forgotten how long an MOT takes, below we walk you through everything you need to know before taking your car for its inspection.

How Long Does An MOT Take?

The average time it takes for your car to go through an MOT is between 45 to 60 minutes. There is no strict time that the tester must follow but it would be rare for an experienced tester to take more than an hour to MOT a car.

However, if your car doesn’t pass the inspection, the MOT can take a lot longer to complete. Depending upon the failure, your car might only need a new tyre, which may only take an extra half an hour to replace. However, if the failure is more severe (i.e. your car needs welding), you may have to leave the car at the garage for it to be repaired and retested.

Therefore, as long as your car sails through the inspection, you can expect an MOT to take less than an hour.

How Long Does An MOT Retest Take?

If your car failed its MOT but you were able to get it fixed within 10 working days, you are able to take it back to the garage that carried out the MOT for a retest free of charge.

Due to the fact that it’s a retest, it doesn’t take as long as a full MOT because the tester only needs to inspect the failures from its previous inspection. Therefore, depending upon what has failed will determine how long it takes. For example, if your car failed an emissions test, it would have to go through another test, which could take 10 minutes.

We would estimate that an MOT retest could take between 5 to 10 minutes depending upon what it failed on.

Why Does An MOT Take So Long?

If you are sitting around in the waiting room of the garage, you may be wondering why an MOT takes up to an hour to complete. In short, the DVLA’s guidelines are very strict and there is a lot for the tester to thoroughly inspect.

The main areas that are checked include the exterior, exhaust/fuel, electrics, interior, lights/visibility and safety. For further details, you can find out everything that’s checked on the DVLA’s website.

Where Should I Take My Car?

When it comes to MOTs, we always recommend going to a garage that you trust. We state this because a lot of garages “look for work” and may be very strict in terms of the defects they find with your car.

Therefore, you may want the garage to repair your car there and then so that it can pass the MOT. If this is the case, you’ll be happier leaving your car at a garage you’ve used before. However, it’s important to note that if your car fails, you can still drive it away from the MOT to get it repaired elsewhere but only if there are no dangerous defects found.

When Should I Go For An MOT?

Ideally, you should book your MOT as early as possible (a month (minus one day) before it runs out) because this’ll give you plenty of time to make repairs if it does fail. If you are unsure when your renewal date for your MOT is, you can use the DVLA’s online service to check the status and expiry of your MOT.

What Do I Need To Take?

All approved MOT testing centres can access everything they need online, which is thanks to the improvements in the DVLA’s infrastructure. Therefore, apart from yourself and the car, you don’t need to bring anything to the MOT. However, there is of course a cost for the MOT, which is usually between £35 to £54.85 (the maximum amount they can charge).


Hopefully our guide on how long an MOT takes and why it takes this long has answered all of your questions. If possible, we always recommend taking your car for an early MOT with a garage that you trust.

If you have a busy schedule and don’t have the time to wait for the MOT (up to an hour) to finish, leaving your car with a garage you trust so that they can carry out the test in their own time shouldn’t be an issue.

For further information with regards to how long an MOT takes or MOTs in general, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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