Home » Automotive » How to check a car’s MOT history in the UK

 

Checking the MOT History of your next car is easy!

Like us, you’ve probably wanted to have a little bit more insight when looking to purchase your next car.  When we say insight we mean how the car performed when it went through its annual MoT.  In the UK, the MoT is the mandatory annual inspection that a car, three years or older, has to go through to make sure that it’s safe and worthy enough of being driven on the UK’s roads.

From May 20th 2018 these checks have changed, being tougher on older diesel-engined cars when it comes to emissions and just, in general, being more stricter and based on tiers of whether the car that was being inspected had any problems to report that needed sorting at a later date or completely failing due to the major issues that were found at the time.

With any MoT failure, to get a vehicle to pass its MoT can be an expensive fix for the owner to experience especially if it was a cost that the owner wasn’t expecting.



Well, with the above in mind we thought that we would try out a UK government based website that we heard about a few months ago that might give us the MoT insight we need when were are looking to change our existing car for a newer model or even view the MoT history of our current car and that website is:

https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

This website is part of the Government’s initiative to help you buy a car correctly within the eyes of the law.  For us, it gives us a fantastic look into the history of the car, when it has been inspected and gives us a fair idea of what has gone wrong with the car and any ongoing issues that the car may be having.  Now, unfortunately, this site doesn’t give you a full rundown of everything that has gone wrong with the car you are looking at but it does give you a snapshot at the time of the MoT inspection of things that have required fixing to keep the car safe and on the road.

Apple iMac MoT Registration Screen

The process of checking the MoT history of a car is easily done and just starts with having the registration details of the car to hand, visiting the website (link above) and entering the registration of the car onto the website and that’s it!

We found the results easily digestible and the website page was super easy to navigate and understand.  Once we had entered the car’s registration details we got the details of the car (as a confirmation that it was the car we were looking at), when it’s next MoT inspection is due, a link to set up a reminder so the website will send you an alert via email when your car is due for its next MoT and a couple of drop-down sections.  We have used the alert function for our cars in the past and it was super handy as most people with busy lives we tend to forget these things so it was a great feature to have and use.

MOT Test Result History

In the drop-down sections, we had the MoT history of the vehicle and a section detailing any outstanding vehicle recalls for the vehicle which we were looking at which is a great touch and luckily there were no recalls for the car we were enquiring about.

Tapping or clicking on the MoT section is where all of that lovely information is gleaned about the car we were looking at on Autotrader.  It presented us with the recorded mileage of the car at the points in which it had its MoT, the test centre location (which for some reason the information was unavailable at the time of this review), the MoT test number and the expiry date of the MoT.  Importantly for us, this section also had the history of the car’s MoT passes and failures and the reasons for each of those MoT failures.  The reasons aren’t really that detailed and are based on what the technician had written on the MoT failure form when the car had been inspected but we just think that part of the website is super helpful when you are looking through the MoT history of that vehicle.

iPhone x MoT history results

For us it had given us an idea of how well that car has done through the years and whether ongoing advisory items were fixed prior to the next MoT and a kind of general impression of how well looked after that vehicle was.  For example you can see here that the Golf we were looking at had failed last year’s MoT and for it to pass it had to have its rear coil springs replaced, so you have an idea that the work was done and if you were looking to buy this car then at least it would be one less thing to worry about going wrong.  In another instance we had looked at a 2007 Ford Fiesta diesel as an example and for a few years it had a recorded ongoing oil leak and more recently in the advisory section there was a crack in the windscreen recorded and wheel bearing noise so we knew to steer clear of this car because we had an idea that there would be a few quite costly repairs coming up in the next year or so.

Overall we think that this service provided by the UK government had given us a fantastic look at the history of a car when it comes to the MoT.  We love how easy the information was presented and the overall user experience.  It wasn’t complicated to use and only required one element of input from us to get the information we needed and it was completely free to use.  One extra plus was it is optimised for mobile, so if you are looking at a car in person then you can easily check to see if there are any ongoing issues with this car while you are standing on the forecourt of a dealership and with this information to hand we think that it could help you either negotiate a better discount with the motor dealer or look simply look elsewhere.  We strongly feel that this website should be part of your car buying process and hopefully save you some of the headaches, and money, when it comes to buying your next car and getting it MoT’d.

https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

 

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