Understanding the Different Classes of MOT Tests

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) test is an annual vehicle safety inspection required for most vehicles over 3 years old in the UK. But did you know there are different classes of MOT tests? The specific test required depends on your vehicle type and gross weight. This guide will explain the key MOT test types and what gets checked.

MOT Test Classes Explained

There are 5 main classes of MOT tests, designated Class 1 through Class 7:

Class 4 MOT – Cars and Light Vans

The Class 4 MOT applies to regular passenger cars, vans, and light commercial vehicles up to 3,000kg gross weight. It checks critical components like:

  • Brake test
  • Lights and electrical inspection
  • Steering and alignment test
  • Suspension Check
  • Seat Belt Check
  • Tyre tread depth measurement

It also includes an emissions test based on the vehicle’s age and fuel type.

Types of MOT Test classes

Class 7 MOT – Larger Vans and Light Trucks

The Class 7 MOT is for larger vans and light goods vehicles between 3,000-3,500kg. In addition to the same checks as the Class 4 test, it also inspects:

  • Body condition
  • Underside inspection

So there is a higher weight limit for vehicles like larger vans.

Other MOT Classes Overview

There are also special MOT classes for other vehicle types:

  • Class 1 MOT: Motorcycles up to 200cc
  • Class 2 MOT: Motorcycles over 200cc
  • Class 3 MOT: Three-wheeled vehicles up to 450 kg
  • Class 5 MOT: Mini Buses and coaches

Defect Categories Explained

The different levels of defects that can occur on MOT tests are categorized as follows:

Defect CategoryDescription
Dangerous defectsIdentification of issues or components to monitor in the future. Further deterioration could lead to failure at the next test.
Major defectsThe vehicle fails the test and cannot legally be driven away until the issues are fixed.
Minor defectsThe vehicle passes the test, but minor defects are detected that require fixing. Advisory notes to repair before the next test
Advisory notesIdentification of issues or components to monitor in the future. Further deterioration could lead to failure at the next test

The defect classification determines whether the vehicle has passed or failed the annual safety inspection. Certain defects are considered so high-risk that the car cannot be used until addressed and repaired.

In-Depth Checks Performed

Over 50 checks were performed during the MOT testing process. We have a detailed guide examining the comprehensive guide to MOT Test checks across all classes.

In summary, some of the key components and areas inspected include:

Standard Checks Across MOT Classes

  • Braking system
  • Steering mechanism
  • Suspension components
  • Seatbelts
  • Lights and electrical wiring

Additional Checks on Heavy Vehicles

  • Body condition
  • Chassis condition
  • Under-vehicle inspection

Preparing for the MOT Test

To increase your chances of passing the MOT inspection on the first try, make sure to:

  • Perform a pre-MOT checklist yourself in advance
  • Get any issues identified repaired promptly at a garage
  • Book an MOT test at a reputable test centre with good reviews

See our complete guide to Preparing for the MOT Test.»

Understanding Your MOT Results

Once you complete the annual vehicle examination, you will get a test report showing any defects found and the overall pass/fail status.

Ensure you understand what the defect categories mean and what repairs may be needed before attempting a retest. There are strict rules about how soon you must get an MOT retest if the vehicle initially fails.

Learn How to Interpret Your MOT Results Here»

MOT Test Cost Breakdown

The typical MOT test fees are:

MOT ClassAverage Cost
Class 4 (Cars & Light Vans)£54.85
Class 7 (Large Vans & Trucks)£58.60

However, actual MOT prices can vary depending on the test centre, your location, and what discounts may be offered. We break down all the pricing factors in our guide to MOT Costs.»

Special Considerations

There are also some unique MOT test rules and exemptions to be aware of:

  • Electric and hybrid vehicles have special emission checks
  • Some old classic vehicles can be excused from requiring an MOT
  • Vehicles used only on small islands may not need an MOT

An in-depth understanding of the different classes of MOT tests, checks performed, defect categories, and costs allows vehicle owners to ensure their cars, motorbikes, and vans adhere to UK road safety laws.

Preparing correctly for annual safety inspections, finding a reputable test centre, and knowing how to interpret your results after the MOT examination is also vital for smooth and successful MOT experiences.


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