Booking a MOT for your 4×4 – Here’s What You Need to Know

Any 4×4 vehicle that is older than three years old will need to have a MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. This is a legal requirement and must be carried out each year to make sure the vehicle is suitable for the open road. Tests for this vehicle type are the same as any standard car, and follows the same procedures.

Ensure the MOT station has sufficient Motor Trade Insurance

This guide will hope to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about what 4×4 owners should know before booking their next MOT test. Any garage that is licensed to offer tests for these large vehicles must ensure they have the right motor trade insurance policy before carrying out any inspections or maintenance work. Here’s what you need to know as a 4×4 driver.

When does my 4×4 need its MOT test?

Your 4×4 must undergo its first MOT test once it has become three years old, this will be calculated from the date the vehicle was registered. At this stage, your car will need to be tested each year, this is to ensure that it is still roadworthy and meets all the relevant standards.

Once the vehicle passes the test, you will be granted a MOT test certificate. You can expect the following details to be included on this: issue date and the expiry date. This will make it easier for you to remember when your next test is due. If your 4×4 does fail the relevant checks, you will still be allowed to take the car away if the current certificate is still valid and there are no major problems listed within the updated report. Any major faults will need to be addressed; maintenance repairs must be carried out before you have permission to drive away.

You can choose to take your car to any garage that offers this service, although you may want to opt for one that specialises in checking SUVs. Either option is fine, but the vehicle must meet the minimum roadworthiness standards at all times. If you don’t comply, you could receive a fine.

How will I know when my MOT is due?

If you have lost or misplaced your MOT certificate, log on to the GOV.UK website to access a free tool that can provide you with the information you’re looking for. You’ll need to enter your 4×4’s vehicle make, the model variant and registration number. Once you’ve entered this information, your current MOT and tax status will be displayed. To make things easier, you also have the option to request a free MOT certificate to replace the one you have misplaced.

I’m passed the expiration date, what should I do?

MOTs don’t provide a way to automatically extend them unless you pass a new test. If your MOT certificate has expired, according to UK law, you will not be able to drive your 4×4 on a public road. Failure to follow these rules may result in prosecution. It’s also worth noting that your vehicle cannot be taxed unless you have a valid MOT certificate.

Can I drive my 4×4 without a MOT certificate?

As we answered in the previous question, you will not be allowed to drive your 4×4 if you don’t have this certificate. Although, there is one exception available to drivers. If you have pre-booked a MOT test, you can drive your vehicle to this examination. If you know that your vehicle is not going to be used for any purpose, by law, you must declare it SORN and keep it off the road.

How can I prepare my SUV for its MOT test?

SUVs are much larger than the average car and experience the same number of issues. The last thing you want is to fail the test for not following the smallest of steps, especially before your vehicle’s big day. You may be surprised that even the most minor issues could result in a failure. Therefore, we recommend you carry out your own checklist two to three weeks in advance before the test is due. By doing so, you’ll increase your 4×4’s chances of passing by ensuring it’s in the best condition possible.

Checklist for 4×4 drivers before the MOT exam:

  • Ensure sure your 4×4 has been cleaned on the inside and outside.
  • Number plates must be readable so make sure these are clean.
  • Make sure the windscreen wipers are in good condition and moving smoothly.
  • Do all the lights function correctly? A friend or family member can help you check the outside lights of your SUV.
  • Check the 4×4’s tyre tread and tyre pressure.
  • Top up all fluid levels, this includes the engine oil, brake fluid and screen wash.
  • Ensure that mirrors are secure and can be used safely. Give them a good clean while you’re at it.
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in the car’s V5C logbook must match that marked on the car’s bodywork.

In summary, we hope this guide has given you the necessary information surrounding MOTs. Using the above checklist will help you ensure your 4×4 passes the test, allowing you to get back on the road as soon as possible.

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