Never forget your MOT again

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There are an abundance of high-street variations available for your car’s yearly MOT test. If you’re looking to keep as much of your money in your own pocket as possible, then those special offers you’ve seen for £20 tests will look pretty attractive right now. But be careful. All that glitters isn’t always gold.

With all the different offers, how much does an MOT cost for a car?

What you pay for your MOT test and certificate isn’t always what you might pay in total. The price you might pay to get your car through all of the areas it is likely to fail on could be an awful lot more. This is the key area that the garages are interested in.

An MOT itself isn’t a good earner at all for the garage—but the repairs they require can be.

The MOT breakdown

So, how much does an MOT cost in the UK?

Think about it; the maximum a garage is allowed to charge for an MOT test in the UK is £54.85.

The Government sets this price, and all the relevant rules and information is available from their website.

The average labour charges of independent mechanics can range anywhere between £45/hour and £65/hour.

If you weigh up that it takes an average of between 45 minutes to an hour to carry out the MOT test, that puts the mechanic on an almost impossible deadline to achieve the hourly rate they require.

The dealerships and franchises are already into a negative when it comes to profits, as their hourly rates are even higher—the UK average being around £92/hr.

When you consider this, and any extras, for example, a garage that offers a collection and delivery service, then you can see already, that the challenge that faces a garage in making their hopeful level of profit has already flown out of the window.

So, what’s the deal with those £20 and £25 MOT tests?

The term used in marketing for such an attractive proposition is known as a ‘loss-leader’. The supermarkets sell baked beans or spaghetti hoops at a loss in the hope that once a shopper starts loading their trolley with all the other irresistible items on the shelves, they’ll make enough profit to counter the loss.

It’s just the same with the cheap MOTs. The garage is hoping to hit you with enough repair costs, or in some cases by over-inflating their repair charges that they’ll cover the loss of the MOT price by tagging on a range of extra costs to boot.

So with this information, answering the question: how much is the cost of an MOT? It could be much more than you first see on the price tag.

The new MOT laws and how they help a garage to trap you

Your MOT certificate now outlines your vehicle’s faults in a breakdown of 3 categories: minormajor or dangerous.

Minor faults won’t prevent your car from passing its MOT, but they should be repaired as soon as possible. They’re pretty much the same as the former ‘advisory’ items you’d find on the old style certificate.

Major and dangerous MOT faults will fail your vehicle—immediately.

Once your car has failed its MOT, then the law is very strict about its use on the roads. The fine for driving a car without an MOT, down to any of those dangerous or major faults, is £2,500. You could also receive 3 points on your license or in some instances be banned from driving altogether.

So, any car that fails its MOT can’t legally be driven away from the garage. You either need to get it fixed (and at this point the mechanic is rubbing his oily hands together) or have it towed away.