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Is It Important to Check the MOT History of a Car?

Bradley Jando | Friday 23rd April 2021 4:37pm

Technician Conducting MOT Checks Under a Car Bonnet

There are several reasons why you may want to check the MOT history of a car. Typically, the MOT history is checked when you’re deciding whether to buy a second-hand car, but it can also be checked if you’ve lost the paperwork from previous MOT tests on your own vehicle.

Now, MOT tests don’t tell you everything about the health of the vehicle – because they only focus on safety-critical parts of the car, but they can act as a good benchmark.

Why check the MOT history of a car you’re planning to buy?

If you’re planning on buying a car, it might look perfectly fine - but looks can be deceiving. Because of the relatively high value of many cars, owners will sometimes clean everything in the engine bay and interiors to make the car look new and well looked after.

In some cases, this is a fair indication that a vehicle is cared for. After all, the owner has gone to the effort of actually cleaning things. But it should always be taken with a big pinch of salt – hiding potential problems means that the current owner can sell a vehicle for much more money than they’d otherwise be able to.

The MOT testing history of a car can be found by entering its registration plate number here. Things might surprise you.

If, for example, you see that the current owner has been given advisories in MOTs two years in a row, then it might indicate that they’ve not bothered to fix things. If you see particular types of faults come up regularly, then it could also indicate that the owner’s driving style is causing these faults – that could, itself, indicate other problems in areas not covered by the MOT test checks.

Consistently over-worn tyres, for example, might indicate that the driver likes to go fast and/or over-rev their engine. This, in turn, might mean that there’s also damage to the clutch system from this kind of driving behaviour.

Another reason to check the MOT history of a car you’re intending to buy is simply in order to see how soon you’ll need to take it for another test. Many drivers use this to assume that they’ll need to pay out a certain amount of money and factor this into budgeting.

Checking the MOT history of your own vehicle

The same process can be used to find the MOT history for your own vehicle. This is usually done when you want to sell the vehicle but have lost your paperwork, or if you’re conducting routine maintenance and want to check that every advisory has been fixed.

The only other reason to check your own vehicle’s MOT history is if it’s a relatively old vehicle and you’ve only owned it for a few years. Advisories and repairs conducted years ago might indicate ongoing issues that you may want to address.

Need to have your car looked at?

If you have an MOT test coming up and would like a professional to look at your car, get in touch with your local Kwik Fit centre.




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