How to Check Your Vehicle’s MOT History Online?

Checking a vehicle’s MOT history provides valuable insights into its condition and maintenance record over time. As a vehicle owner, verifying your car, van, motorcycle, or trailer’s MOT status is essential before buying or selling. This quick, free check can reveal any issues flagged during mandatory annual roadworthiness tests.

What is an MOT Test?

A MOT test is an annual examination in the UK to certify vehicles over 3 years old meet minimum safety and environmental standards for driving on public roads. At an authorized vehicle inspection centre, qualified technicians access vehicle history documents and thoroughly review MOT certificates across over 50 checklist items. If no problems are found, an MOT pass certificate is issued. Any defects must be fixed and re-tested before the vehicle can be used legally.

How to Check MOT History Online

Looking up your vehicle’s MOT history to investigate MOT background details is quick and straightforward using the official DVLA site:

1. Go to

2. Enter your vehicle’s registration number and make/model

3. Get an MOT history report showing test dates, mileage, failures, and advisories

sample mot test certificate
Image: Sample MOT history report from showing key details

MOT Test History

DateMileagePass/FailFailure ReasonRepair DoneCost
5/12/2019150,000 miPassn/an/an/a
5/15/2020158,000 miFailFaulty brake padsReplaced brake pads$200
6/20/2020159,000 miPassn/an/an/a
This table shows a sample MOT test history with columns for the test date, mileage at the test date, whether the vehicle passed or failed, any failure reasons, repairs done, and repair cost.

Interpreting the MOT Report

Reviewing MOT documents provides a wealth of information across various sections:

Test Dates and Results

  • List date and outcome (pass or fail) of each test
  • Highlights gaps that could indicate the vehicle was driven illegally

Mileage Readings

  • Odometer readings from each test
  • Watch for suspicious mileage patterns suggesting tampering

Reasons for Failure

  • Details the specific failures requiring repair
  • Repeated failures indicate ongoing issues

Advisory Notes

  • Non-critical problems to monitor in the future
  • Many advisories signal aging, poorly-maintained vehicle

While extremely valuable, examining MOT certificates has limitations:

  • Only covers failures, not routine maintenance
  • Lacks repair cost or severity details

So combine with a full-service history and inspection for the complete picture.

Checking Your Own MOT Status

You can also use the site to verify MOT status on your own vehicle:

  • Useful for checking when your MOT expires
  • Retrieve copies of your latest certificates
  • Share with buyers when selling your vehicle

Looking up MOT history takes just minutes but provides vital insights into vehicle condition over time. For used car buyers, it helps identify issues early and avoid expensive surprises down the road!

Common MOT History Questions

  1. What if there are gaps in the history?
    • It could mean the vehicle was off-road, like a classic car
    • But typically indicates the owner was driving illegally
  2. What if it shows many failures?
    • Suggests ongoing problems or poor maintenance
    • Budget for likely future repair costs

Checking a vehicle’s MOT history gives key details on its safety and maintenance background over time. Reviewing this easily accessible information is an essential step for every vehicle owner and buyer. While not a substitute for in-person inspection, an MOT history check provides vital insights to make better purchase decisions and promote informed, responsible vehicle ownership.


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