HGV MOT check

It is important to know the class of HGV that requires an MOT. You can check the class of your vehicle/s here or at GOV.UK

This link takes you to the relevant pages to book an MOT for your HGV. There is also advice about booking your vehicle in to be checked before the MOT and testing manuals for different vehicles. Don’t forget that MHF (UK) Ltd offers an MOT booking service to all customers.


Do you want to know more about what is involved in HGV MOTs and the cost? Read on for more information…


The Commercial Vehicle MOT

Commercial vehicles such as HGVs, trailers and buses must have an annual MOT check if they fall in to any of the following categories:

  • · Goods vehicles with a gross weight that exceeds 3,500kg
  • · Vehicles that are built or have been adapted to form part of an articulated vehicle
  • · Semi-trailers
  • · Horseboxes with a gross weight of more than 3,500kg
  • · ‘A’ frame trailers and converter dollies manufactured on or after 1 January 1979
  • · Trailers with an unladen weight of more than 1,020kg with powered braking systems (instead of standard overrun brakes and as well as the required parking brake)
  • · All public service vehicles i.e. buses and coaches with more than 8 passenger seats not including the driver’s seat.

Form V112/G provides a comprehensive list of the vehicles that are exempt from the HGV MOT. Please note that some vehicles may still require a standard MOT.


Trailer MOT check

Trailers also require MOT checks and should usually be tested one year after they were first sold or supplied.


How do you check a HGV’s MOT status?

Anyone can check the MOT status of a vehicle by visiting the DVLA website and using the vehicle enquiry service. This lets you find out if a vehicle has an MOT certificate and when it runs out. All you need is the registration number of the vehicle, which can be found on the number plate.


HGV & Trailer MOT check costs

The cost of vehicle and trailer tests and certificates carried out at authorised testing facilities can be found on the GOV.UK website. These are private facilities although the tests are carried out by Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) assessors.

The cost and duration of trailer MOT checks varies according to the number of axles.

Vehicle TypeCostDuration
2 axle HGV£9140 minutes
3 axle HGV£11345 minutes
4+ axle HGV£13755 minutes
1 axle trailer£4121 minutes
2 axle trailer£5425 minutes
3 axle trailer£6430 minutes
4 axle trailer£6435 minutes
5 axle trailer£6440 minutes

In addition to the cost of the MOT, each vehicle must also pay a lane fee, which unlike MOTs is subject to VAT. The cost of the lane fee varies from site to site but is roughly £50 for a rigid vehicle and £38 for trailers.

Full details, including cost and duration of re-tests and part-paid re-tests can be found here.


HGV MOT exemptions

An HGV will be classed as being exempt from needing an MOT if the vehicle was manufactured and first registered before 1960 as long as it hasn’t been modified much since its first registration.

Vehicles may be awarded an MOT exemption certificate if they are powered by electricity and were registered before 2015. However, these vehicles must undergo an annual roadworthiness test if they are to be used for commercial purposes.

Vehicles which weigh over 3,500kg (or which fall in to type approval categories N2, N3, 03, 04 or T) are exempt from goods vehicle testing.

In total there are 36 categories of vehicle that are exempt from MOT testing, and these can be found on form V112G. For any clarification or queries about HGV MOT exemptions you should contact the DVSA.


HGV and Trailer MOT checklist

HGV and trailer MOT checks cover the overall condition of a vehicle or trailer and will make sure that it meets minimum safety standards and that fittings such as tyres and brakes are suitable for the class of HGV or trailer.

A qualified inspector will inspect the vehicle or trailer’s essential components from brakes, steering, suspension, tyres, windscreens, to bodywork, lights and exhaust emissions (where appropriate).

Follow our checklist to see what areas are checked and to find out some common failure points:


What will be checked? Common failure points
Brakesthe condition and performance of the brakes will be checked, including brake pads, discs, drums and hydraulic systemWorn discs and pads

Braking system failure

Raised grips on pedal worn away
Steeringthe condition and operation of the HGV’s steering system, including steering wheel, steering column and steering box will be checkedLoose bolts and brackets

Worn joints

Faulty braking mechanism
Suspensionthe condition and operation of the HGVs suspension system will be checked, including shock absorbers, springs and ball jointsLoose connections

Loose springs
Tyrestread depth and condition of the vehicle or trailer’s tyres will be checked against DVSA minimum standardsExposed ply or cord

Worn tread

Lumps and bulges
Windscreenthe inspector will check the condition of the windscreen during an HGV MOT, looking for chips, cracks or other damage that could affect visibilityChips in glass

Cracks in glass
Bodyworkthe condition of the HGV’s bodywork including chassis, cab and external fittingsExcessive corrosion

Sharp edges

Damage to specific areas
Lightsthe inspector will check the condition and operation of the vehicle or trailer’s lighting system including headlights, indicators, brake, fog and hazard lightsIncorrect positioning

Incorrect colour

Loose fittings
EmissionsExhaust emissions will be checked for the level of pollutants emitted from the HGV’s exhaust system to ensure compliance with DVSA standardsVisible smoke from exhaust

Damaged/missing DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter)

Engine Management light must not be showing on dashboard

If you discover that you need to replace any spare parts, MHF (UK) Ltd can help. Our spares department [link to https://mhf.uk.com/spares/] is well stocked with items for your HGV or trailer.

Following the HGV MOT check, you will be provided with a report detailing any defects or warnings found during the check. If any issues are identified they must be fixed before you can legally drive the HGV on the road.

It is always considered good practice to continue to put a vehicle through an MOT test on a voluntary basis even if it holds an exemption certificate as this will help to ensure that it remains in a roadworthy condition. It should also be noted that a voluntary test may be required if a vehicle is to be sold and a registration number is to be transferred from a vehicle.

If your vehicle is exempt from HGV annual MOT checks, form V112G may be completed and taken to the Post Office when you are applying for road tax for the vehicle.

If you are unable to take your vehicle for a planned MOT test and this will cause your MOT to expire, you must SORN your vehicle and take it off public roads until an MOT can be obtained.

Regardless of ownership, the driver is ultimately responsible for ensuring that their HGV undergoes its annual MOT check, with the majority of vehicles requiring testing every year, starting when it is 12 months old (or 12 months from when it was first registered with the DVLA).

This link takes you to the relevant GOV.UK pages to book an MOT for your HGV. There is also advice about booking your vehicle in to be checked before the MOT and testing manuals for different vehicles.


Maintain the roadworthiness of your HGV or trailer

In order to keep your vehicle in a roadworthy condition between its MOT tests, why not follow the MHF Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness?

The MHF Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness

The most important advice is to be proactive in looking after your vehicle:

  • · Pay attention to detail on daily walk around/maintenance checks. You’re more likely to spot issues before they become significant and sometimes dangerous.
  • · Keep your HGV and/or trailer clean and free from debris to make it easy to spot issues.
  • · Makes sure that all documentation is up to date (e.g. registration details, VC5 logbook and insurance).
  • · Check your vehicle emissions – can you see smoke etc coming from the exhaust?
  • · Use a certified MOT test centre who will provide you with a valid MOT certificate.
  • · Address any issues that you identify or are found during the MOT check swiftly to keep your vehicle or trailer road-safe.
  • · Book a pre-MOT check at MHF (UK) Ltd for the ultimate peace of mind