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How Can I Check the MOT History of a Car?

Posted on 23rd January 2023
How Can I Check the MOT History of a Car?

If the time has come to buy your next car, there is every chance you have chosen to go down the route of looking for the best-used. With less expense up front and a chance to find your dream car at a more affordable price point, it is becoming much more common for people to browse the used market than before.

Before signing anything though it is worth knowing as much as possible about the car. Obvious questions like those about its mileage are answered in a second but knowing its MOT history among other things can be a little different.

Luckily, finding out the information you need regarding the car you are interested in is relatively easy.  A quick online search is all it takes. Let’s look at what you can find out and how!

Where can I find the MOT history of a car?

Using a free government service you can dive into the 10-year history of the vehicle. All you need is the registration number and the 11-digit code in the logbook. Entering these will then show you:

  • Any MOT results, both passes and fails
  • Which parts failed on the vehicle at the MOT
  • The mileage at the date of the MOT
  • Any advice given by the examiner
  • Where the MOT was performed
  • When the next MOT is due

This information may help sway your decision in whether the vehicle is a worthwhile purchase, should you want to know how many owners there were before you, by looking in the logbook.

Why should I check the MOT history of a car?

You wouldn’t buy a house without knowing a little about it so why not apply the same thought process to a car? It is, after all, one of the biggest and most important expenditures you are likely to put money into. The reasons though are many and help you understand the potential risks you may encounter with the vehicle as well as any additional expenses you perhaps probably hadn’t first considered.

Every car on the road in the UK that is over 3 years old must have a valid MOT. Without one, you can’t drive it at all. Other than in very specific, limited circumstances.

When you check the history of a vehicle and see that it has a rather inconsistent amount of MOTs, this could indicate issues with the vehicle. If, say, the gap between MOTs is quite large, it could demonstrate that the car is not fully up to scratch.

If there is a complete MOT history, you will be able to see which parts needed repair, and which may have needed retesting. This can be an excellent gauge of the consistency of the vehicle. Especially if similar parts have often been found to be faulty.


The advisories that you see mentioned will also be worth noting. These are problems that do not require repair but were seen as worth mentioning by the tester. This could mean that the problem will get much worse in the future and cost you a lot of money. At the same time, they may not cost much at all or not get much worse. This is one for you to judge or perhaps get a second opinion on.


The mileage will also appear in the MOT history and allows you to look at whether the car has exceeded a typical amount of miles for a car of its age and type. This can be beneficial in terms of knowing the potential lifespan of the vehicle and any costs that could arise in the future.


Checking an MOT history is hugely beneficial, as it can ultimately show you whether you would be getting value for money purchasing the car. For the few seconds it takes, it could save you thousands of pounds in the future.

Should I check the service history and tax of the car?

In addition to the MOT history, it is always worth diving a little deeper and checking things such as the service history and the tax status of a vehicle. All service history should be available from the seller in the service book for the car. Here, you will be able to see if any services have been missed and the results of those that have been completed. These are often in hard copy format or digital depending on the car and its age. Should no history be readily available, you can search online, but this does come at a cost.

For tax, you can do much the same as with checking for MOT history. Simply head to the check vehicle tax page on the government website. If the car has recently been taxed, the information may not show for up to five days.


Checking the history is both vital for buyers and sellers. A prospective buyer will be less likely to buy if the information is not available, so it is in the best interests of both parties to have the information available. At Euphoria Finance, we ensure all our vehicles pass stringent tests and have a valid MOT before they can be driven away. That way you are fully road compliant the moment you purchase the car. Get a free quote today to see how you can drive away in your new car tomorrow without fear of it not being roadworthy. New drivers, old drivers or those looking for bad credit car loans should get in touch now!

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