Money-saving MOT Tips: A Comprehensive Guide

Dec 13, 2023

Money-saving MOT Tips: A Comprehensive Guide

Amidst a challenging cost of living crisis, we've outlined strategies to save money before your upcoming MOT. Vehicle ownership entails various expenses, including fuel, upkeep, insurance, and breakdown cover, with the added requirement of ensuring your vehicle remains road legal through the MOT.

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you manage costs and navigate the MOT process efficiently.

MOT Basics: Any vehicle over three years old must undergo an annual Ministry of Transport (MOT) test to verify its road legality and safety. The test, conducted by a mechanic at a garage, typically takes about an hour. A successful test results in a certificate detailing the test and expiry dates.

Notably, there is no grace period after MOT expiration, and driving post-expiration may lead to a £1,000 fine. 

MOT Costs: The government stipulates a maximum fee of £54.85 for a car MOT, with prices ranging from £29.65 to £124.50 for other vehicle types. It's essential to be aware of these fees to make informed decisions.

Money-Saving Tips:

  1. Set Reminders: Utilize mobile device reminders or apps like Google Calendar to avoid missing MOT deadlines.
  2. Pre-MOT Checks: Regularly maintain your vehicle with simple checks like keeping it clean, checking wipers, lights, tire pressure, fluid levels, horn functionality, and mirrors.
  3. Compare Prices: Don't settle for the first garage quote; explore smaller local garages that may offer competitive rates and excellent service.
  4. Council MOT Test Centres: Consider Council MOT Centres, focused solely on MOTs, potentially offering impartial assessments without benefiting from repair work.
  5. Free or Reduced Retests: Some repairs may qualify for free or reduced retests within specific timeframes, including battery, doors, lights, mirrors, and more.
  6. Compare Repair Prices Online: After receiving MOT results, compare online prices for parts or labor to potentially find better deals than initial garage quotes.
  7. Address Advisories Promptly: Act on advisories received during MOT tests promptly to prevent future issues and save on potential higher bills.
  8. Dashboard Warning Lights: Investigate and address dashboard warning lights promptly, seeking manufacturer-specific guidance if needed.
  9. Consider Splitting MOT and Service: Evaluate the option of splitting MOT and service to catch potential issues midway through the year, preventing them from escalating.

Vehicle Servicing Benefits: While an MOT is compulsory, servicing isn't legally required but is essential for maintaining vehicle condition, retaining value, and preventing larger bills down the line.

Avoid Driving Without MOT: Driving without a valid MOT can result in fines, with penalties ranging from £1,000 for lacking a valid certificate to up to £2,500 for driving a deemed 'dangerous' vehicle.

Vehicle Maintenance Tips: Implement regular maintenance practices, such as caring for the battery, changing filters, driving smoothly, and addressing rust promptly, to prolong your vehicle's lifespan.

Annual MOT and Safety Awareness: Despite passing an MOT, drivers remain responsible for their vehicle's safety. A survey reveals that almost half of drivers incorrectly believe an MOT pass guarantees safety for the next 12 months.

Potential Changes to MOT Frequency: Although there were proposals to switch the MOT to a biennial requirement, this idea has been put on hold. Currently, the MOT remains an annual event for drivers across the UK.

We trust this guide has covered all aspects of the annual MOT, and feel free to leave comments for any further inquiries!