On the day of the MOT test

When you make an appointment for your MOT, you will be issued with an appointment letter which will give you full details about the test procedure.

Who can bring the vehicle 

Anyone can present the vehicle for the test on the registered keeper's behalf – the registered keeper does not have to attend in person.

What happens at the test centre

When you arrive, park in the lane indicated on your appointment letter. If you made your appointment by phone you will have been advised of the lane number.

Your car should be presented with the engine at normal operating temperature. 

If your vehicle is found to be emitting substantial quantities of avoidable smoke, the statutory inspection will not take place.

You can find out what to expect during an MOT for motorcycles by watching the video:

If you are late for your appointment

It is strongly recommend that you arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment time. If you arrive late, the test will not take place and you may lose your fee and have to make another appointment.

Staying in the vehicle during the test

When the examiners are ready you will be asked to drive your vehicle into the test hall. You must be able to get out of the vehicle at various stages of the test.

For health and safety reasons passengers or pets will not be allowed in the test hall. They may wait in the reception area of the DVA test centre until the vehicle is tested.

The customer waiting area can be cold and noisy due to the nature of the test hall environment. If this will cause a problem, or if you have a disability, please contact the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) test centre office before you arrive for advice.

Vehicle re-check

Your vehicle could be randomly selected for a re-check by centre management. If your vehicle is chosen it will go back through the MOT testing process as part of a quality control to ensure that standards are maintained.

Further information is available at the following link:

After the test

Depending whether or not your vehicle passes or fails the test you can find out what happens next at the following link:

Vehicle damaged during the test

If your vehicle is damaged during the test, this should be reported as soon as possible to the centre manager who will inspect the damage. If the vehicle has already left the premises the centre manager will arrange a time for you to return with the vehicle for inspection.

You will be given a claim form which you should then submit to the centre manager along with three quotes showing the cost of repairing the damage.

The circumstances in which you can claim compensation are set out in procedures below:

Adverse weather

Vehicle testing is not normally affected by adverse weather conditions. In exceptional circumstances, where you are unable to attend due to adverse weather, you should contact the centre manager prior to your scheduled appointment. Your test will then be rescheduled at no additional cost.

How to make a complaint

If you are not satisfied with the service you have received, ask to speak to the centre manager, as they can deal with most complaints quickly and informally.

If your complaint is not resolved informally, you can make a formal complaint. Full details of the DVA's formal complaints procedure is available below:

Your complaints help to identify areas where repeated problems are occurring and help DVA take steps to improve their service.

If you do not attend your test appointment

At present, if you fail to attend, DVA’s policy is that you forfeit the payment (already made) and have to rebook and pay again.

You have the option to make a Fail to Appear (FTA) appeal. An FTA appeal  requests the DVA to consider your explanation for failing to attend for a vehicle or driving test. The appeal should be made to the manager of the Test Centre involved

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