WARRANT OF FITNESS - WOF
A warrant of fitness (WoF) is a periodic safety inspection that is compulsory for light vehicles (cars, vans, motorbikes). Vehicles first registered anywhere in the world on or after 1 January 2000 require annual (yearly) inspections. Prior to that it is 6 monthly. Thousands of approved garages & testing stations (WoF agents) carry out WoF inspections.
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WHAT THE INSPECTION LOOKS AT
The general safety check takes around 20 minutes & examines:
- Tyre condition (including tread depth)
- Brake operation
- Structural condition (rust is not allowed in certain areas)
- Lights (Are all bulbs working? Do lights comply?)
- Glazing (is your windscreen safe?)
- Windscreen washers and wipers
- Doors (do they open and close safely?)
- Safety belts (must not be faded or damaged; buckles must work properly)
- Airbags (if fitted)
- Speedometer (must be working)
- Steering and suspension (must be safe and secure)
- Exhaust (there must be no leaks and the exhaust must not be too loud)
- Fuel system (there must be no leaks)
You will be provided with a report that details any areas that the check has failed.
A WOF IS NOT A MECHANICAL CHECK
A WoF is not a car fitness test or pre-purchase inspection. It is up to you as the car owner to check things such as:
- Engine, clutch, gearbox, differential and CV joint condition
- Lubricant levels and condition
- Brake pad thickness or life expectancy
- Paint work condition and rust in non-structural areas
A WoF label should be attached to the inside of the front windscreen, on the same side as the steering wheel. The circle showing the month the WoF expires will be punched out when the WoF is issued. You must have your vehicle inspected again before the expiry date on the label.
It’s illegal to drive a motor vehicle on the road if:
- It doesn’t meet the WoF requirements, or
- It doesn’t display a valid WoF sticker
- The WoF has expired
The WoF starts from the date your vehicle passes the inspection. However, if you take your vehicle to a WoF agent a few days before the current WoF expires, the expiry date of the new WoF may be extended, equal to the number of days you have left on the old WoF (to a maximum of 14 days).
A FAILED WARRANT
If your vehicle fails its WoF inspection and your old WoF has expired, you are not allowed to drive it on the road (unless it is being operated solely for the purpose of bringing it into compliance and obtaining a new WoF — and provided the vehicle is safe to be operated for that purpose).
When all the areas that required attention have been fixed, the re-inspection is free of charge if you return the vehicle to the same WoF agent within 28 days of the first inspection.