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It is a legal requirement for your vehicle to have passed a Ministry of Transport (MOT) test to prove that it is in good working order and safe to be on the public highway.

In our ‘MOTs made simple’ guide we are going to take a closer look at in the inner working of MOTs, informing you as to what the test is, what you should do if your car should fail the test and importantly how much it costs to have your car MOT’d.

In addition to explaining MOTs, Utility Saving Expert can also help you save money on your car insurance policy.

What is a MOT test?

A MOT test, formally known as a Ministry of Transport test is designed to test several of your vehicles vital capabilities. The test is carried about by a mechanic who has been specially trained and will make sure that your car is road worthy, as well as testing to make sure it meets the required environmental safety emissions standards.

If you need to tax your car, you will need a valid MOT certificate and as you cannot legally drive a motor vehicle on the public road without car tax, a valid MOT becomes a legal necessity.

If your car is less than 3 years old, it will not require a MOT however, once it turns three years old it will need to be tested annually.

What do they test?

A specially trained mechanic will check over various parts of your car, to check that they function correctly.

The checks that are carried out include, but are not limited to:

  • green-bullet-pointChecking the brakes to ensure they are not overly worn and are functioning correctly.
  • green-bullet-pointChecking the cars suspension and lights are working properly.
  • green-bullet-pointChecks to the windows, windscreen and bodywork including the petrol cap for considerable damage.
  • green-bullet-pointChecking the tread depth and condition of your tyres to ensure they are road legal.

In early 2012, new regulations around the increased technological complexity of modern cars saw the passing criteria for a MOT change to include further aspects of the car including checks to power steering, electronic stability control along with other items which are now checked for safety purposes.

Your car will not fail its MOT for aesthetic damage to the bodywork, wheels etc.

What happens if my car fails its MOT?

Failure of a MOT test is not fatal, it generally means that you are required to have the issues highlighted on the MOT failure report attended to. In general, if you have the work undertaken by the same garage that provided the initial MOT, normally the retest to be free of charge if retaken within 10 working days.

One word of caution, don’t be blinded by the promise of a free retest, get a second quote on the work required from another independent garage to ensure you are not paying a premium for the repairs.

How much does an MOT cost?

How much you pay for an MOT will vary from garage to garage however, there is a limit on the amount a garage can charge.

These limits are set by the Vehicle and Operators Service Agency, also known as VOSA at:

  • blue-bullet-point£54.85 for Cars
  • blue-bullet-point£29.65 for Motorbikes

Many people are unaware that their Local Authority will have their own MOT testing centre, that is generally used to test Council vehicles but is required to be open to the public as well.

These Council owned MOT testing centres generally will charge you more than your local independent but, they are much less likely to try and talk you into unnecessary and often expensive repairs.

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