Why Is My Car Its Missing MOT History

May 11, 2024 by Zoe Hicks – 2 mins read

Discover why a used car’s MOT history might be missing or why it shows multiple tests in a year, shedding light on issues like registration errors, SORN status, and dealership practices.

When you’re delving into a used car’s history, the MOT records are indispensable for assessing the vehicle’s roadworthiness and maintenance past. However, there are times when you might find missing MOT records or unexpectedly frequent MOT tests within a year. Understanding why this happens can be crucial in making an informed purchase decision.

Why Is My Car Missing Its MOT History

1. Vehicle Age: Cars younger than three years do not require an MOT test in the UK. If the vehicle you’re considering is relatively new, it naturally wouldn’t have an MOT record until it hits this age milestone.

2. Registration Errors: Incorrect vehicle details entered during the MOT test can lead to missing records. Also, changing a vehicle’s registration number, especially to a private one, can obscure MOT history unless the new number is used for checks.

3. Delays in Record Updates: There might be a delay between the completion of an MOT test and the updating of this information in the online system. If the MOT was conducted recently, the record might not appear immediately.

4. SORN Status: Vehicles declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) are exempt from MOT tests. If a car has been off the road for an extended period, it won’t have current MOT records.

5. Imported Vehicles: Imported vehicles only start accumulating MOT history from the time they undergo their first test in the UK, meaning earlier overseas histories are absent.

Why Does My Car Have Multiple MOT Entries In A Year

1. Taxi or Private Hire Usage: Vehicles used as taxis or for private hire may be subject to more stringent requirements, such as biannual MOTs, depending on local council regulations. This is particularly common in vehicles used extensively where safety standards are rigorously maintained.

2. Dealer Resales: Sometimes, dealers conduct an MOT on a vehicle before resale to ensure it has a full 12-month certificate, making it more appealing to buyers. This practice can result in multiple MOT entries in a single year, especially if the vehicle changes hands within the trade.

When purchasing a used car, the MOT history can offer vital insights into the vehicle’s condition and maintenance. Missing MOT records or multiple tests in a single year need not be immediate red flags but do warrant further investigation to ensure you have a complete understanding of the vehicle’s history and legality. By keeping aware of these common reasons, you can approach your vehicle purchase with greater confidence and knowledge.


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