Most of us expect to take our cars for an annual MOT, to make sure that everything is in working order.

However, if your car is brand-new, you might be confused as to when you need to book in. The rules around MOTs for new cars are slightly different to other cars, so we’re here to break down everything you need to know.

When will my new car need its first MOT?

While most cars will need an annual MOT, all new cars have three years before they need their first test, since the parts and components are unused and may not be showing signs of wear and tear. After this three-year period, the car will then revert to the standard time frame of a yearly MOT.

Although your car isn’t legally required to have an MOT within these three years, we recommend booking in sooner if you’re concerned about anything, or you just want the peace of mind that everything’s working as it should. We would also still recommend that you get your new car serviced annually to keep everything in tip-top condition – and if you service your car at Halfords, it won’t invalidate your MOT.

Some vehicles, like ambulances and taxis, will need their MOT after just one year. You can find the full list of these specialised vehicles on the Government’s MOT fees table.

It’s worth noting that the first MOT must be completed by the third anniversary of the car’s registration, not when you first received it, so be sure you don’t get caught out by the dates.

To know for sure when your MOT is due, check out our handy tool – just enter your registration and we’ll tell you exactly when you need to book in by. We can also email you a reminder when your MOT is due to expire so you’ll never forget again, as well as information on the latest arrivals, exclusive products, deals and promotions from Halfords.

When should I book in?

Each year, updated registration plates are released in March and September which causes a flurry of new car purchases, as drivers often wait to secure the updated plates. So, with first-hand car purchases increasing in these months, there are also swathes of three-year-old cars with their MOTs expiring in March and September, too.

If you want to avoid this increased demand, we recommend booking in earlier for your MOT – for example, opting for February instead of March, or August as opposed to September. That way, you’ll beat the rush and have more options for where and when you book in.

What do I need to do?

If you’ve not had to book an MOT for the past three years, then you may have forgotten what they consist of, or what you’ll need to do beforehand.

Our best piece of advice is to check your car over in plenty of time before your test, to make sure you’re aware of any problems before they’re highlighted at the MOT. That way, you’ve got more time to get them rectified and lower the chance of not being able to use your car after your test.

You can find all the areas you’ll need to look at in our guide on getting your car MOT ready here; just check each item on the list and make a note of any problems to get looked at. That way, you should have enough time to get them fixed before your MOT is due!

As for general maintenance and upkeep, there are many quick and easy ways to improve your chances of passing.

Be sure to give your car a once-over just before your test to avoid any easy-to-fix issues that might lead to a failure. We’ve compiled a list of MOT must-haves that you can run through before your test to make sure you drive away on the same day.

The Halfords Motoring Club

To keep you MOT ready all year round, why not join the thousands of people already signed up to the Halfords Motoring Club? You can enjoy a range of amazing benefits and discounts that are designed to keep you moving, keep you safe and keep you saving.

It’s free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.

Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages, and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.

With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!

Join the Halfords Motoring Club today at www.halfords.com/motoring-club.


So, now that you know when your brand-new car will need its first MOT, you can focus on enjoying your new purchase and keeping it in good working order for your test!

If you do hit any bumps in the road, you can be sure that Halfords is here to help. For all your motoring needs, check out Halfords.com or pop into your local store where one of our experts will be happy to help.

You want to keep motoring for less, you want Halfords.