Everything about the annual MOT

The general periodic inspection, colloquially known as the MOT, is a European statutory inspection that protects the environment in addition to road safety. There are approximately 7.6 million MOT inspections in the Netherlands every year. As the owner of a car, you are responsible for having the annual MOT carried out on time.

Read in this article exactly what the MOT entails, when and how often your vehicle must be inspected and what the consequences are if your vehicle does not pass the MOT inspection.

What exactly does an apk mean?

During the APK inspection, your vehicle will be assessed by an inspector on the APK inspection requirements. These requirements can be divided into the following categories: road safety, environment and registration. Among other things, the brakes, shock absorbers, tyres, steering, lighting, bodywork, fuel used, vehicle certificate and mileage are assessed. As of July 1, 2022, cars that are required to have a particulate filter will be checked for the operation of the filter by looking at the exhaust gases it produces. If the quality is poor, the vehicles will be rejected.

In addition, the independent administrative body checks the RDW – National Road Traffic Service – on a random basis whether the APK inspection has been carried out properly by the inspector. You are also obliged to cooperate with this check. Will your vehicle be selected for this? The inspector will then be present at the inspection location within 90 minutes to carry out the random check. You will not receive an inspection report with this assessment. In the event of a rejection after a random check, only the RDW may carry out the new MOT.

If you buy a car at, you will immediately receive a new MOT. This way you are provisionally provided with the apk.

When and how often do you have your vehicle MOT inspected?

You are not allowed on the road without a valid MOT inspection. Do you do this? Then you risk a fine from the RDW or the police. The fine for an expired MOT is 130 euros. In addition to the risk of a fine, you are also not insured if you are involved in an accident. How often you have to inspect your vehicle depends on, among other things, the type of vehicle, the age of the vehicle and the fuel the vehicle runs on.

Check on a diesel or petrol car

Have you bought a new car that runs on petrol? After four years, your vehicle must go for the MOT for the first time. After the first inspection, the car must be inspected every two years until the age of 8 is reached. After this, the MOT takes place annually. A period of three years applies to a new diesel car. Subsequently, diesels must be checked every year.

What about a caravan?

The MOT inspection obligation only applies to passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, buses, three-wheeled motor vehicles and trailers with a maximum weight of 3,500 kilograms. This means that caravans are not subject to the inspection obligation by an inspector. Campers are obliged to carry out the check.

And if you own an oldtimer?

For a vehicle older than 30 years, the inspection must take place once every two years. The MOT obligation no longer applies to vehicles older than 50 years, unless it concerns a taxi, bus, public transport car or vehicle for hazardous substances. If you want to know if and when your car needs to be inspected, you can view the license plate check at the RDW.

Do different rules apply to hybrid and electric vehicles?

Cars that drive hybrid or fully electric must also be inspected. The check that is carried out is the same as the tests for cars that run on petrol, diesel or gas. In addition, there is a check on the components of the electric powertrain. This includes the electric motor.

Do you prefer not to incur unexpected costs? With a private lease, the APK inspection and all maintenance are included in the monthly amount to be paid.

What are the consequences of a rejected vehicle?

If a technical defect is detected, your vehicle may not pass the MOT check. When your vehicle is rejected, you have two months to have your car repaired at the garage. If you do not agree with the rejection of your vehicle, it is possible to lodge an objection. However, there are costs associated with submitting an objection. You must pay the additional costs yourself.

Has your vehicle been completely rejected by the inspector? Then there are two scenarios. These situations are explained to you below.

#1: Vehicle rejected and expiration date has not yet expired

If you have your vehicle inspected before the current MOT expires, the inspector must report the rejection to the RDW. Whether it is wise to continue driving your rejected vehicle until the expiry date of the current MOT is entirely up to you. Due to the technical defect, your vehicle may no longer function optimally. There is also the chance of a fine from the police if the defect is considered dangerous. In addition, you run the risk of not being reimbursed by your insurance company in the event of a collision or accident.

#2: Vehicle rejected and expiration date expired

In the event of rejection, you have 2 months after the due date to have the defects repaired. During this period you are no longer allowed to take the vehicle on the road, unless you are on your way to the garage to have the technical defects repaired. However, you must be able to demonstrate that you are actually going to the garage. Are you going on the road? The police can use cameras to detect vehicles that have been rejected and have an expired expiration date. In this case you run the risk of a fine.

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