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MOTs – Why the cheapest aren’t the best

At Trust A Garage, our aim is to help everyone to get the best service, to help ensure their safety and to protect their vehicle.

You don’t pay VAT for your MOT test and, legally, there is a maximum cost for MOT tests, depending on your vehicle: £54.85 for a car and £29.65 for a motorbike. However, many test centres offer MOTs for less than £20. With so many garages offering cut price MOTs, we look at what the MOT test is and why going for the cheapest doesn’t necessarily offer the best value for money.

What is an MOT?

MOT test is the Ministry Of Transport Test, and is a specific test undertaken by Ministry of Transport approved garages to determine whether a vehicle is roadworthy.

When you need an MOT

New vehicles should have their first MOT test by the third anniversary of the date on which they were registered; all vehicles should have an MOT test within a year of its last one. MOT test certificates last for a year, and you can book your vehicle for its next MOT up to a month before its existing one runs out. If your MOT has expired, it is illegal to drive your vehicle on the road, unless you are driving it to (or from) a garage for repair, or to a pre-arranged MOT test.

Who can carry out your MOT

Your MOT test must be done by an approved garage; they will display a blue MOT sign with three triangles to demonstrate they are an approved garage.

What does the MOT test check?

The MOT test requires your garage to check specific elements of your vehicle including:

  • exhaust system,
  • lights,
  • horn,
  • brakes,
  • tyres, wheels and TPMS,
  • bonnet,
  • registration plates,
  • seatbelts,
  • towbar (and electrical socket),
  • vehicle structure,
  • fuel system and emissions,
  • steering and suspension,
  • wipers and washers,
  • windscreen,
  • battery and electrical wiring,
  • doors,
  • mirrors.

Your MOT test is NOT required to check the condition of your engine, clutch or gearbox.

Cheaper isn’t better

Garages offering low price MOT tests are likely to recoup their money by charging extra for any work that may need to be done for your vehicle to pass its test. In addition, budget garages may ignore additional problems that are not covered by the MOT test. Paying £20 or less for your MOT test certificate may seem like a good idea, but in the long run your bill could end up being much higher than if you had used a trusted, rated MOT test centre.

Take a look at our online directory to find a trustworthy MOT test centre near you, where you can read independent reviews of the garages listed and contact them via their Trust A Garage profile page.


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