Good news for Holland, good news for you!

APK inspection: what does it all entail?

As a car owner, you are probably familiar with the MOT inspection. During this annual assessment it is checked whether your car is still safe enough to participate in traffic. It also checks whether it meets all environmental requirements and is therefore non-polluting. Are you wondering what an MOT inspection is all about? On we have collected all the information for you, so that you will soon leave for the garage well informed.

Get car insurance? Calculate your premium!


MOT inspection

What is an MOT inspection?

The General Periodic Test (APK) is a legally required test in Europe to promote traffic safety and protect the environment. It is a snapshot and does not guarantee that your car will remain safe and maintenance-free for the rest of the year. Regular inspection and maintenance of your car remain important. The APK inspection must be carried out by garages and APK inspection stations that have a permit from the RDW. Are you looking for a garage company in your area to make an APK appointment? Then go to Here you can search for garage companies, compare prices and make an appointment directly online.

Get car insurance? Calculate your premium!

What do I need for an MOT inspection?

For an MOT inspection you actually only need your car. The chassis number in combination with the registration number is the most important means of identifying your vehicle during an MOT inspection. Previously, you had to take the registration certificate part I with you to the inspection. Since 1 March 2010, however, this is no longer necessary. The RDW's basic vehicle register is now used to check the vehicle's data. Therefore, you do not need to bring any other documents to the inspection.

How long does an MOT inspection take?

The time required for the MOT inspection differs from garage to garage. On average, an MOT check takes about 2 hours. However, this is often done on a daily basis.

APK inspection: how long in advance?

You can have your car tested up to two months before the next MOT expiry date. The old expiry date will then be extended by 1 or 2 years, depending on the applicable inspection frequency. If you have your car inspected more than two months before the MOT expiry date, your vehicle will have a new MOT expiry date. Check your car's MOT expiry date on the RDW website. In any case, make sure that you make an appointment with the garage on time. Are you (almost) too late for the APK inspection? Then make a free last-minute appointment via

When to have an MOT check

If a passenger car or light commercial vehicle (up to 3,500 kg) has already undergone an MOT test, the date mentioned on the MOT test report is the starting point. This was given to you at the time of the previous inspection. The car must be re-approved before this date. If your car has not been inspected before, you can see in the MOT test schedule when your car should be inspected for the first time. It also shows you how often your car has to be inspected. If the fuel in your car changes, it may be that it needs to be inspected more or less often.

APK inspection costs

The average costs for an MOT are different for everyone. The prices for a separate MOT inspection vary from €19 to about €75. For an MOT test for a diesel car you will have to pay more than for a petrol car. Some garages also charge extra for the soot measurement, the four-gas test or the registration of the car. This is only the price you pay for the inspection itself. If defects are found during the MOT inspection that need to be repaired, this will also involve costs. In addition to the APK costs, you will also have to deal with repair costs.

APK inspection points

There are various points that an inspector looks out for when conducting an MOT inspection. These are the repair points, advisory points and rejection points. Repair points are things that still have to be repaired before approval can be given. Rejection points are points on which the car has been rejected. When a car is rejected by the MOT, it is no longer suitable for use on the public roads. It must then be repaired. Advice points are points that do not directly lead to APK rejection, but which you will have to replace or repair soon. For example, advisory points about the tyres, the brakes or the belts and airbags. At some point these items will wear out and have to be replaced.

MOT check without appointment

For an MOT inspection, you can go to a car company or garage with RDW recognition. You can recognize these garages or inspection stations by the orange/white RDW recognition shield. Usually you will be asked to make an appointment for the inspection. However, there are also a number of garages where you can go without an appointment. These garages often advertise "Ready while you wait". Always check whether the garage has RDW recognition.

MOT test too late

If your MOT has expired and you have forgotten to have your car inspected, you may no longer drive your car on the public roads. If you do, you risk a fine of €130. Moreover, the RDW checks the inspection register regularly. So your car does not necessarily have to be stopped in order to receive a fine. After the expiry date, you may only take your car to a testing station. You must then be able to show that you have an appointment to have the car inspected again.

APK test report

At the end of the MOT you will receive a test report. The APK test report contains the results of your APK test. The APK test report is drawn up by an APK inspector. The APK inspector draws up a list of three categories: repair points, advisory points and rejection points. On the basis of this, it is determined whether your car is approved or rejected. You will also find the expiry date of the APK in the inspection report. The car must be inspected again before the expiry date.

APK inspection requirements

During the APK test, the APK inspector checks whether your car complies with the safety and environmental requirements and whether it is correctly registered in the vehicle registration system. He also pays attention to various APK test points. These are divided into repair points, advisory points and rejection points. An important inspection point is the tyres, for example. They are examined for damage and profile thickness. The lights, belts and bodywork are also checked.

MOT inspection papers

You do not need to bring any papers with you to the MOT inspection. By means of the chassis number, in combination with the registration number, they can identify your car. Until 1 March 2010 it was necessary to bring the registration certificate part I. However, this is no longer required. However, this is no longer necessary. Nowadays, the basic vehicle register of the RDW is used. So you do not have to bring anything to your inspection appointment.

APK inspection date check

Are you not sure what the expiry date of your MOT is? Then you can do a licence plate check on the RDW website. You fill in the registration number of your car. You then get an insight into the historical data of the car. Because the licence plate check is public, it only shows non-privacy-sensitive details about the vehicle. Besides the MOT expiry date, you can also see, for example, how many kilos the vehicle can tow, how many seats there are and when the vehicle was first registered in the Netherlands.

MOT expired

Of course, it can happen that you forget to get your car inspected before the expiration date. Good to know is that without an approved MOT you are not allowed to drive your car on public roads. After the expiration date you will not immediately receive a fine from the RDW for expired MOT. You have up to two months after the expiration date to still have your car inspected without the RDW performing a register check. After these two months, the car must be APK-approved or the license plate must be suspended.

MOT expiry date

Six weeks before the MOT for your car expires, RDW sends you a reminder. You receive this by post or online via the RDW Berichtenbox, depending on what you have set. This letter states the exact expiry date of your MOT. This is how RDW tries to encourage you to take action on time. Always keep a close eye on the expiry date, because as the owner of the vehicle, you remain responsible for getting the vehicle tested on time. I haven't received a letter' is not a valid excuse for letting the MOT expire. You can also look up the expiry date yourself, both on your last inspection report and on the RDW website.

MOT testing stations

You can have your car tested at a RDW testing station. These are located throughout the Netherlands. You can easily make the appointment online:

  1. Go to "Make an appointment".
  2. Have the Dutch registration number or the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at hand
  3. Please fill in all requested data
  4. After the appointment has been requested, you will receive an e-mail with the date and time of your appointment

MOT check

Do a MOT check? You can do a licence plate check on the RDW website. Not only can you check the MOT expiry date, but you can also get direct insight into the vehicle's historical data. For example, you can see how many kilos the vehicle can tow, how many seats there are and when the vehicle was first registered in the Netherlands. You can also find the current value of your car here. An MOT check is therefore useful for several things.

New MOT rules

The RDW keeps a constant eye on safety on the road and on which rules can still be adjusted. After a growing number of complaints about blinding lights on cars and trucks, a number of new MOT rules for headlight adjusters and the light pattern have applied since 1 January 2021. In addition to analogue headlight adjusters, digital headlight adjusters are also permitted.

Car MOT check

An APK inspection must be carried out by garages and APK inspection stations that have a licence from the RDW. During an APK inspection the maintenance condition of the vehicle is assessed on the basis of inspection requirements. An APK inspection is not a maintenance service, but in practice it is often combined with one. When the vehicle has passed the MOT, the owner receives a test report. This allows the owner to drive for another year. Since 1994, every passenger car or commercial vehicle that is 3 years old or more and does not weigh more than 3500 kilograms must undergo an annual MOT inspection .

APK re-inspection

If a vehicle has been rejected for the MOT, you will receive an inspection report from the inspection station. This report states on which points the vehicle does not comply with the requirements of the MOT test. You yourself are responsible for solving these points or having them solved. An APK re-inspection can then take place. The RDW regards the APK re-inspection as a completely new inspection. It is therefore possible that other issues will be encountered during a re-inspection. Certainly if you go to a different testing station or get a different inspector for the re-inspection of your vehicle.

MOT check expired

Six weeks before the expiry of your MOT, you receive a letter from the RDW stating the exact expiry date. With this letter the RDW tries to encourage people to make an appointment on time for an MOT check. You can also view the expiry date online on the RDW website. So 'I haven't received a letter' is not a valid excuse for letting your MOT expire. If the RDW discovers that your MOT has expired, you will receive a fine.

Compare premiums online for cheap car insurance!

Now with free recovery service
  • To calculate premiums, we need the zip code of the primary driver. For private use, the youngest driver must reside at the same address as the applicant. In case of business use, you can enter the postal code of the company here.

We can be reached via Chat, Whatsapp, phone or email

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to know more.
We are here today until 18:00

get in touch