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MOT and vehicle testing services

Information on MOT vehicle tests for taxis and private hire vehicles.

What is an MOT test and why do I need it? 

An MOT test checks that your vehicle meets the minimum road safety and environmental standards.

An MOT lasts for a calendar year. The date it expires is printed on your current MOT certificate.


MOT Classes

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council offer an MOT testing service for the following vehicle types:

Class 4

Class 4 includes:

  • 3-wheeled vehicles (over 450kg unladen weight)
  • cars (up to 8 passenger seats)
  • motor caravans
  • quads (max laden weight 400kg - goods vehicles and max net power of 15kb)
  • dual purpose vehicles
  • private hire and public service vehicles (up to 8 seats)
  • ambulances and taxis
  • private passenger vehicles and ambulances (9 to 12 passenger seats)
  • goods vehicles (up to 3000kg design gross weight)

Class 5

Class 5 includes:

  • private passenger vehicles and ambulances (13 to 16 passenger seats, and more than 16 passenger seas)
  • play buses

Class 7

Class 7 includes:

  • goods vehicles (over 3000kg up to 3500kg design gross weight)


Booking your next MOT

The earliest you can book an MOT to preserve the previous expiry date is one calendar month (minus a day). For example, if your MOT runs out on the 15 May, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is the 16 April.

What if the MOT has run out?

You cannot drive your vehicle on the road if the MOT has run out. You can be prosecuted if caught.

The only exceptions are:

  • to drive the vehicle to or from somewhere to be repaired
  • to take the vehicle to a pre-arranged MOT test

You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate.


What is a taxi compliance test? 

A taxi compliance test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

Within the test, the cleanliness and appearance of the interior and exterior will also be inspected to ensure that the vehicle is safe for use by the public.

How should I prepare my vehicle for a test? 

We will not be able to perform a test on your vehicle if:

  • your vehicle is so dirty that examination is unreasonably difficult
  • parts of the vehicle cannot be opened, such as a door, tailgate, boot, engine cover or the fuel cap
  • the vehicle is in a dangerous condition and considered unsafe
  • the vehicle's registration mark, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or frame number is missing or cannot be read clearly enough
  • the vehicle cannot be driven due to lack of fuel, oil or any other reason
  • you are unable present a valid log book (V5C)
  • the vehicle emits substantial quantities of smoke
  • it is missing the fire extinguisher
  • it is missing the first aid kit

The above criteria also applies to a partial retest. Your vehicle needs to be in an appropriate and acceptable state for a partial retest to be completed.


How do I book an MOT test or vehicle taxi test? 

To book a test online, you'll need the following information:

  • your vehicle registration number
  • your Private or Hackney Carriage plate number, if applicable
  • your contact details
  • a debit or credit card to pay the test

Any cancellations must be done 48 hours prior to your appointment to avoid full charges being applied.

MOT and taxi test

Testing takes approximately 1 hour.



Private MOT Class 4£50
Private MOT Class 5 and 7£55
Private Hire Compliance Test£60
Private Hire Compliance Test including MOT£70
Hackney Carriage Compliance Test£60
Hackney Carriage Compliance Test including MOT£70

Book an MOT or taxi test

MOT retest or additional services

Testing takes approximately 15 minutes.



Taxi retest£25
Hackney Carriage meter test£10
Headlight alignment£10
Tint test£10
Private MOT retest£0

Book your MOT retest or additional services

Where is the test centre?

Cowpen Lane Depot, Cowpen Lane, Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, TS23 4DD

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 5:30pm

How do I change or cancel an MOT booking? 

Please call the depot on 01642 528256 or 01642 524615 or 01642 527167.

What happens if my vehicle fails a test? 

Your vehicle will fail if the test result lists any 'dangerous' or 'major' defects.

If your vehicle fails an MOT:

  • you will receive a 'Refusal to issue a test certificate'
  • the MOT test result will be recorded in the MOT database

If your vehicle fails a taxi test:

  • you will receive a 'Notification of a Refusal to Issue a Certificate of Compliance'
  • the result will be recorded and Taxi Licencing will be notified

What happens next?

If your vehicle failed the test, you can book a vehicle partial retest. This must be done within 10 working days of your vehicle failing its initial test.

How do I get a duplicate MOT certificate? 

You can order a replacement MOT certificate for free on the website. 

Replace a lost or damaged MOT certificate 

If you cannot order a replacement online, contact the depot on 01642 528256 or 01642 524615 or 01642 527167.


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