MOT history checker

Check the MOT status and history of any car in the UK using carwow’s free MOT check*

*MOT history is only available for tests done in England, Scotland or Wales since 2005, or for tests done in Northern Ireland since 2017. A vehicle’s MOT test results will be available as soon as the MOT centre has recorded the test.

What does the MOT history checker tell me?

Avoid any nasty surprises and find out all you need to know about a car’s MOT history in just a few clicks, for free!

Enter a vehicle reg (number plate) and find out if the car currently has a valid MOT, as well as any advisory notes made when assessing the car.

You’ll also be able to see when the car’s MOT expires, and what its mileage was when it was last tested.

Not only that, but you’ll gain access to the car’s full MOT history – so you can see if it’s ever failed a test and why.

Why should I check a car’s MOT history?


Check your own car’s MOT history to see when it’s due a retest and what (if any) issues have been flagged in previous years that might need addressing now.

Check the MOT history of a used car before paying for a full vehicle history check, or going to view the car.

Get an idea of how a car has been looked after by seeing how many past failures or advisories have been recorded. This could point towards a car that’s had a hard life, or has needed a lot of work in the past!

If you go and inspect a car that has past advisories, you can look for evidence that the requisite work has been carried out, or possibly negotiate the car’s price down if issues haven’t been fixed.

Check the mileages between MOT tests to spot if a car was hardly driven for several years, or covered 50,000 miles in a single 12-month period – two scenarios that can spell problems.

Check if a car’s advertised mileage tallies with what’s been recorded on its MOT history to identify if a car might have been clocked.


If you're a UK driver, it's essential to understand the MOT test and what it entails, as it is a legal requirement for most vehicles. Our FAQ section covers everything from what an MOT test is, how often you need to take it, and what it covers, to what happens if your vehicle fails the test and what you can do to prepare for it. So, whether you're a new driver or a seasoned motorist, our MOT FAQ section is here to help you navigate the ins and outs of this crucial aspect of vehicle ownership.
An MOT test is an annual roadworthiness check that is required on all cars once they turn three years old. There are around 23,000 registered MOT testing stations across the country, while the name ‘MOT’ is a throwback to when the Department for Transport, as it is known today, was called the Ministry of Transport. 
Cars are complicated machines, and it’s important they’re kept in good condition to keep everyone on the road safe. While most motorists are diligent about servicing their cars, the MOT test acts as a safety net for all vehicles, while also spotting things that might not be picked up during routine maintenance. 
The MOT test checks countless aspects of a car, taking in everything from if it has structural rust, to whether its exhaust emissions meet minimum standards. Brakes, tyres, lights, windscreen wipers, seatbelts and suspension components are all checked during an MOT, while testers will also look out for any warning lights on the dashboard.
Cars don’t need their first MOT until their turn three years old, and once they reach that age they need a new test every 12 months. You can check your most recent MOT certificate to find out when your car’s next test is due, but our handy online checker will let you know the date without you having to rifle through reams of paperwork.
Nope: new cars are MOT exempt. It is only once a car turns three years old that it starts to require one. 
An MOT test should only take between 45 minutes to an hour, with some testing stations offering to conduct the assessment while you wait. 
MOTs are both important and legally mandated, so there is a legal maximum price of £54.85 that testing stations can charge. Some garages may charge less than this, but they’re not allowed to charge more. 
You’ll need to contact an MOT centre directly to book a test and bear in mind that garages can get busy: it’s best to get in early and call the garage a few weeks before your MOT is due so you don’t miss the deadline. You can get a car tested up to one month (minus one day) before its MOT expires and keep your existing renewal date, but if you get it checked earlier than that the new MOT will start from the date the car was tested, so don’t be too keen or you’ll be paying for more MOTs than you need! 
You are allowed to drive a car away from a failed MOT test only if it didn’t fail for a ‘dangerous’ fault, and if its current MOT is still valid (IE you didn’t get the car tested a day after it expired).
A car doesn’t need to have an MOT until it is three years old. Therefore, if your car is less than three years old, there will be no MOT test information available about it in our MOT history checker tool. 
When a car passes its MOT, the test certificate is valid for 12 months. You can check how long is remaining on an MOT by checking the date on the test certificate, or by entering the vehicle’s registration number into our free MOT history checker above.
If the car is over three years old and it has been more than a year since it had an MOT, you are not allowed to drive it, or even park it on the road; the only exception to this is if you are driving it to an MOT station for a pre-booked test, or driving it to or from somewhere else to be repaired. Note the penalty for driving a car without a valid MOT is a fine of up to £1,000, while you can be fined up to £2,500 and receive three penalty points on your licence if you drive a car that failed its MOT for having a ‘dangerous’ fault – the most serious category of fault MOT testers can find. 

Check out our helpful MOT guides

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