French Cars Specialists

History Of The MOT


History of the MOT timeline

The MOT test is designed to examine a vehicle to ensure it is safe, roadworthy and meets exhaust emission standards. In the UK, an MOT is required annually for all vehicles over three years old which are used on any road. The test was brought in to try and drive up the standards of vehicles on the roads, ensuring that they are as safe as possible and don’t pose dangers to the driver or other road users.
There have been many changes to the test since it was introduced in 1960 to make sure safety standards are always improving and that the MOT keeps up with changes in technology. Let’s take a look at how the MOT has developed over the years.


  • 1960: The MOT test is introduced by its namesake, the Ministry of Transport. At this point, the test just covered brakes, lights and steering. The test was only required once a vehicle hit 10 years old, being administered every year after that. The test cost 14 shillings (approximately 70p) plus another shilling (approximately 5p) for the actual certificate.
  • 1961: A high rate of vehicles failing the test resulted in the age of vehicles due for testing being dropped to seven years old.
  • 1962: A commercial vehicle test is introduced and having a valid MOT certificate is made a necessity for obtaining your vehicle tax disc.
  • 1965: Brake lights were made compulsory, as were flashing indicators for all new cars.
  • 1967: The vehicle age at which MOT tests needed to start being carried out annually drops to three years.
  • 1968: Tyre checks are added to MOT tests – included in this is the requirement for tyres to have at least 1 mm of tread depth across three quarters of their width.
  • 1977: More checks are added into the MOT, covering windscreen wipers and washers, indicators, brake lights, horn, exhaust system and the overall condition of the vehicle’s body structure and chassis.
  • 1983: MOT tests for taxis, ambulances, and vehicles with over eight passenger seats are made compulsory after the vehicle is one year old.
  • 1991: Petrol engine emissions testing, anti-lock braking, rear wheel bearings and rear seat belts are added to the MOT.
  • 1992: Tyre tread depth is upped to 1.6 mm being the minimum legal requirement.
  • 1993: Rear fog lights, registration plates and mirrors are included in the MOT.
  • 1994: Diesel engine emissions testing is added.
  • 2012: Checks for secondary restraint systems, battery, wiring, electronic stability control, speedometers and steering locks are added. The UK stops giving out MOT certificates, moving them to an online database which also includes vehicle mileage. Plain paper receipts are given by garages to confirm an MOT pass has been added to the DVSA online database.
  • 2014: Diesel particulate filter checks are added to the MOT.
  • 2018: The MOT test is altered to align with EU standards with some changes to the way the test is carried out and reported. The main difference is the categorisation of defects into one of three categories: dangerous, major and minor. With dangerous and major faults, the car will fail the MOT and repairs will need to be made immediately; for minor faults, your car will still pass but repairs should be made promptly.


French Car Specialists offer customers high quality MOT testing, servicing and repairs. Our highly trained team are specialists in French-manufactured cars but have the experience and knowledge to carry out work on any make and model of vehicle. Simply get in touch with our friendly team today to book in, or for more information about our services. From our garage in Finchley, we’re well-placed to serve customers throughout North London.

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