Your Van MOT Guide, and 6 Tips To Help Pass Your Van MOT

If you use a van or a fleet of vans for your business, you don’t need us to tell you that just like most motorised vehicles on UK roads, at some point, it’s going to need an MOT, as both a legal requirement and for the sake of safety. But, if like many van owners, you’d like to know a little more about a van MOT, keep reading this short guide to find out about some of the rules and costs, as well as 6 tips on how to help your van get an MOT pass.

What are the van MOT rules?

The rules for a van MOT in the UK don’t differ from car MOT rules, which means, you need to get your van MOT’d once a year, before the date it’s due unless the van is less than 3 years old.

If you don’t get a van MOT when it’s due you risk a fine of up to £1000, and you also invalidate your insurance which could see you getting a £300 fine for driving whilst uninsured, and getting 6 penalty points on your license. And remember – if you are intending to or are currently driving your van without an MOT and insurance, the police can check with ANPR cameras, and have the power to seize your van, and in some cases destroy it.


Don’t forget about safety.

As well as the high cost of potential fines, the risk of losing the vehicle and driving license and the subsequent loss of business, driving without an MOT means your van could have safety issues that could result in a serious accident.

What are the costs of a van MOT?

At present (2023) a van MOT in the UK for vans up to 3500kg cannot cost more than £58.60, a price set by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) and a fee that is not subject to VAT. To find out more about van MOT costs, you might want to visit Alternatively, contact a reputable MOT testing station where staff should be happy to tell you more.

6 Tips to help your van pass its MOT

Being the proud owner of a van essential for your business, you’re probably already looking after it, ensuring it’s regularly serviced and maintained etc., but to get it through its MOT here are a few pre-MOT tips to help.

  1. Check the condition of the windscreen and wipers

    This is ensuring your wipers function correctly, that the washer fluid is topped up, and also checking for (and getting repaired) chips or cracks on the windscreen that are bigger than 10mm across, and affect the driver's vision.

  2. Check that your lights are all working

    It might seem basic, but a quick check of all your lights, including headlights, indicators, taillights, fog lights, and brake lights (which may need the help of someone else), could be the difference between a pass and a fail.

  3. Inspect the condition of your tyres

    Worn or damaged tyres are a common reason many vans fail their MOT, so make sure to inspect each one, including the spare, for things such as unusual wear, low tread depth (under 1.6mm in the UK), bulges or obvious damage.

  4. Check the condition of the number plate

    It’s not the first thing you might think about before an MOT test, but ensuring your number plate is secured correctly, and that it’s visible, is an important part of the MOT test, and could potentially be why your van fails or passes.

  5. Give the bodywork a check

    Before the test, have a walk around your van checking for any serious bodywork issues, such as loose or seriously corroded panels, dents, and sharp edges, and also check that the doors open and close correctly and that mirrors are secure.

  6. Check the interior

    After your walkaround, have a quick look around the interior, checking the condition of the seatbelts and the mechanism. Also check that the seats are secure, the horn, and any other interior controls vital to safety, are in working order.

What if my van fails its MOT?

If, even after all these pre-MOT checks, your van still fails its MOT, either leave it with your chosen garage for the repairs or take it to another garage, get the repairs and return to the testing station for a retest. And remember, if you return for your van MOT retest within 1 day, the retest is free, and as long as you return for a retest within 10 days, you’ll get a reduced fee for a retest, but as you’d expect, any work done will be charged for.

IMPORTANT – Make sure to book your van MOT test at least a week or up to a month before it’s due for renewal. This means that if it fails on a non-serious fault, you’ll be able to drive it elsewhere to get the relevant repairs.

Need a van MOT?

If you’re looking for a class 4 MOT or a class 7 MOT for your van, contact Jackson & Phillips, one of Leighton Buzzard's leading van MOT, and van servicing specialists.

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