How do I become an MOT tester?


MOTs are a fact of life, so if you’re looking to boost business, offering MOT testing is a smart move.

In order to become an authorised MOT test station, you’ll need to meet the eligibility requirements to qualify as a tester, then pass the obligatory tests. After this, you must acquire the correct equipment and get your proposed test premises approved.

It’s a bit of a slog, but becoming an MOT tester is well worth the effort and helps to rake in extra cash.

Carrying out MOT tests – like many services in the motor trade – comes with its own set of risks attached. MOTs involve a variety of duties that could cause accidental vehicular damage or increase employees’ chances of injury on the job.

Insurance Choice understands the pressures faced by those working in the motor trade. We provide specialist motor trade insurance tailored to your unique business needs and a range of budgets, which can give you peace of mind.

We’re here to help – take a look at our guide to becoming an MOT tester, then get started – you won’t look back.

What qualifications do you need to become an MOT tester?

Anyone in your business who wishes to perform MOTs will need to gain a range of qualifications.

To be eligible to take an MOT testing course you’ll need:

  • A full and up-to-date UK driving licence for any vehicle classes you wish to test.
  • A minimum of 4 years’ experience working as a skilled mechanic full-time, repairing and servicing the types of vehicles you wish to test.
  • No unspent convictions for offences involving acts of intimidation or violence, the motor trade or MOT testing.
  • To be of ‘good repute’ – you’ll be assessed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to determine your suitability as an MOT tester.
  • The relevant qualification: an NVQ; VRQ; SVQ; City and Guilds qualification or one of a select list – look here for more information.

You’ll then need to complete an MOT tester qualification course and pass a DVSA MOT demonstration test.
Two training MOT testers standing with the business owner in a busy garage workshop

MOT tester course

This involves:

  • Theory and practical training on MOT testing
  • A practical assessment
  • A multiple-choice test

The course covers safe working practices and relationships in an MOT test centre, pre-test checks for MOTs, MOT testing and overseeing your own professional journey as an MOT tester.

Upon completion you’ll achieve a Level 2 MOT Testing Award in one of two categories: class 1 and 2 vehicles (group A) or class 4 and 7 vehicles (group B).

MOT demonstration test

Once you’ve achieved a Level 2 MOT award, you can take the demonstration test.

You can complete the test at the training centre where you took your tester course, or at the MOT testing station at which you’re employed.

Before you take the test, you must:

  • Read all of the MOT special notices and test manuals
  • Practise operating the test equipment with a range of vehicles
  • Run through the inspection routine
  • Observe a seasoned tester in action

Once you’re ready, you can sign into the MOT testing service and book your demonstration test.

When you take your test, you’ll need to bring: your UK driving licence; your Level 2 MOT test certificate; a vehicle in the class you’ll be tested on – it must be a minimum of three years old.

Class 3 or 5 MOT test

If you wish to become a class 3 or 5 tester, you must complete a second training course. You cannot take this course until you’ve passed the Level 2 MOT test and the MOT demonstration test – find out more here.

How do businesses qualify as MOT test stations?

A motor trader handing back the keys of a tested car
To qualify as an MOT test station, you’ll need to ensure your business premises are suitable for any of the vehicle classes you’ll be testing, including size-appropriate testing bays.

According to the government’s website, you’ll also need approved testing equipment for the following:

  • Plate brake testers
  • Roller brake testers
  • Tow bar socket testers
  • Decelerometers
  • Tyre tread depth gauges
  • Wheel play detectors
  • Brake pedal application devices
  • Diesel smoke meters
  • Exhaust gas analysers (catalyst vehicles)
  • Exhaust gas analysers (non-catalyst vehicles)

All of this equipment should be correctly calibrated and fully functional.

Next steps

Once you’ve applied for authorised examiner (AE) status, your premises will be given what’s called ‘an approval in principle’.

After this, if you plan on making any alterations to your test facilities, you’ll need to write to the DVSA beforehand and let them know. It’s wise to include relevant drawings, to demonstrate that the planned changes won’t affect your premises’ approved status.

Between April and March of each year, you’ll be required to complete the allocated training and pass an assessment, keeping your MOT testing skills in tip-top condition.

How much does it cost to become a qualified MOT tester?

While you don’t have to pay to take the demonstration test, you must pay to take the MOT tester course for vehicles classed 1-7.
Prices are set by individual course providers and can vary according to location and institution, starting at roughly £400.

What are the benefits of running an MOT test centre?

An MOT tester wiping down a car he has just tested
The government requires all vehicle owners to get an MOT on a yearly basis, or following the third anniversary of a vehicle’s registration. If a vehicle owner neglects to do so, they face a fine of up to £1,000.

Becoming an authorised MOT test centre will help secure a steady stream of business and, if you perform your duties well, boost your reputation as a reliable local business.

That being said, accidents can and do happen, so you’ll need to ensure your business is covered with reliable motor trade insurance.

Protecting your business

Anyone working in the motor trade knows that with vehicles come risks. When performing MOT tests, you can never rule out the chance of an accident occurring, or costly vehicular damage.

Insurance Choice provides bespoke motor trade insurance designed to fit around your requirements.

We offer flexible payment options, alongside 20 years’ experience specialising in motor trade cover – you’ll be in safe hands with us.
Get a quote today.