It takes around an hour to complete an MOT test.
The MOT test is really quite a thorough check. However, the MOT test involves no stripping down or removal of carpets etc to aid inspection - A tester can't even remove a wheel trim to inspect the brakes properly! That said, Windscreen, washers & wipers, Seat belts, lighting, tyres (not tyre pressures), suspension, steering, body structure and emmissions are some of the major areas covered.
If your vehicle is 3 or more years old (one year for a taxi) the answer is almost definitely yes though there are some exceptions. For instance, classic vehicles over 40 years old are now exempt from the MOT but it is worth checking with your insurance company as they may still require you to have one.
After the first three years your vehilce will require an MOT every year.
You can have your MOT test carried out up to one calendar month before the current MOT expires. If your vehicle passes this MOT then your new MOT will expire 12 months after the current MOTs expiry date. However, if your vehicle fails the MOT then you may not be able to continue driving the vehicle until the faults are fixed.
Unfortunately, now that the MOT is fully computerised, MOT data is accessible by the Police. Even though your vehicle may still have a current MOT certificate, if you are found to be driving a non-roadworthy vehicle then you could be liable to a £2500 fine. A simple number plate check by a following Police officer would give them all the information required for a conviction. That said, it appears that you are allowed to drive from an MOT station to a repair garage.
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