Although many Brits now opt to drive newer models, aided by the rise of affordable deals such as personal contract purchase, the UK’s used car market remains huge.

In fact, the market is reaching new peaks having recovered spectacularly from a slow period brought on by the pandemic and consequent lockdown restrictions.

With so many used cars on the road, the vast majority of them will require an annual MOT. If you own a garage or work as a mobile mechanic, you may be interested in taking on work as an MOT tester.

The tests pay well in themselves and often result in larger jobs that provide you with extra revenue, but it’s not as simple as advertising your services and getting customers. Here’s what you need to do first…

Get your garage up to spec

MOTs can lead to all kinds of follow-up tasks, so make sure you’re prepared for every eventuality.

Invest in quality tool kits and other bits of equipment. Good quality disposable gloves from places like RS Components can keep you clean and moving from job to job, lighting might help you work into evenings and a van will help you take your services direct to customers – that added convenience could be a business winner.

Check your eligibility

Now that’s out of the way, there’s a few bits of red tape to get through. In order to get onto qualifying courses, you must have:

  • A full UK driving licence that matches the classes you want to test.
  • Four years’ experience as a mechanic, working on the class of vehicles you want to test.
  • No unspent convictions.
  • A good reputation – this will be decided by a visit from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Take a qualification course

The next stage is to take an MOT tester qualification course. This course covers practical and theory training and can take from 16 hours to 29 hours to complete the five stages of training, depending on the vehicle classes of your choice.

A multiple-choice questionnaire and practical assessment will decide whether you pass or fail the course. If you are successful, you will receive a certificate and be able to move on to the DVSA’s MOT demonstration test.

Pass the demonstration test

In this exam, you will be required to carry out an ‘as-live’ MOT on a car of your choice and record the results as you would with a customer. You will also be asked questions about your methods and the MOT process generally.

As of April 2022, it is also required for you to pass a DBS check before undertaking the demonstration test.

If you pass the demonstration test, you will become an officially registered tester and appear on the government’s website when people search for testers in their local area.

Retrain and take an annual assessment

Now you can begin to offer MOTs to customers, but it’s worth bearing in mind that you will need to take annual refresher courses to remain on the register.

If you don’t take a refresher course and stop testing for more than five years, you are required to start the training programme from scratch.