For an MOT, Do You Get 14 Days Grace?

Many British motorists think that their vehicle inspected by an official MOT inspector has a flexible or approximate deadline.
14th August 2023

Whether you drive a van, a motorhome, a motorbike or a car, there is no 14-day grace period you can use if your MOT has become overdue. Many British motorists think that their vehicle inspected by an official MOT inspector has a flexible or approximate deadline. Drivers usually assume that as long as they get their car inspected for the MOT test once every calendar year, they are meeting the necessary requirement. However, this turns out to be nothing more than a common misconception that could land you in trouble. So, what are the rules on when you have to have your MOT completed by?

To begin with, some cars are exempt from MOTs so you don’t need to worry if that applies to your vehicle. New cars and certain vintage models with low mileage may be exempt, for example. For most cars, however, you need your vehicle to be MOT’d by the date the current one will expire. Given that MOTs are valid for a year, this means within 365 days – or 366, in the case of a leap year. Some people incorrectly think that this means they’ll always have to pay for an MOT before their given deadline which is where the myth of a grace period comes from.

However, the fact is that you won’t be getting less value from your current MOT by having the pending one conducted early. The rules state that you can book your MOT up to one month before the current expiration date (minus one day). Crucially, though, your subsequent MOT won’t be due on the date you had your current one conducted but the due date will remain the same as before. For example, if your last MOT took place on 2nd June, then you’ll need to have your next one completed by the same date next year. You’re allowed to have your MOT conducted on any date from 3rd May the following year. However, the next MOT will still be due on or before 2nd June the year after that.


This way, you get a full 12-month period from each and every MOT with a relatively large window of dates to choose from. Of course, squeezing in an MOT when you need one isn’t always easy. However, you can say goodbye to inconvenient appointments and delays by choosing our recommended garage Elite. With Elite Direct’s MOT while you wait service puts you in control of when your MOT is scheduled. This way, you can find a slot that’s convenient for you each time your annual MOT is due.

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