How to reduce the cost of your MOT

Getting your vehicle its annual MOT is part of the essential maintenance required to keep it in working order. It also factors into the annual running costs for your vehicle on top of your insurance, road tax, etc.

Usually, you’ll need to pay for the MOT itself and then also cover the costs of any essential repairs carried out in order for your car to pass its MOT. This can sometimes set you back a considerable amount, but with these tips you should be able to lower the overall costs of getting your vehicle its MOT.  

Find a cheaper MOT than the official maximum

There is a maximum cap on what companies can charge for to perform an MOT – £54.85 for car or motor caravans, and £29.65 for motorbikes.

Shopping around will find you plenty of places which will offer cheaper prices than this maximum, as they will recover this through the repairs they provide. However, if you keep your car in good condition then you’ll simply be getting a better deal.

Make sure to book your MOT online well before your current MOT is due to expire, as driving without a valid MOT can land you with a hefty fine.

Do a DIY MOT to cover common fails

Lots of vehicles fail their MOT every year over small yet crucial checks. These are things which drivers can usually take care of themselves prior to an MOT in order to save money on them being done by professionals.

  • Lights – check all of your external lights – front, rear, headlights, dipped, hazards, etc. – and replace any bulbs which aren’t working
  • Suspension – quickly apply weight to each corner of your car and see if it properly bounces back into the right position. If not, the shock absorbers may have gone.
  • Brakes – test the tension on your handbrake and see how responsive your brakes are. You can get these sorted out separately to your MOT to ensure it’ll pass first time.
  • Tyres – tyre pressure is an easy thing to sort out simply by looking up the correct pressure and using the pump at a petrol station to sort them out. You’ll also want to see if your tread depth meets the required level of 1.6mm.
  • Windscreen – if your windscreen has any substantial damage, this could lead to a fail as well as insurance claim issues. Anything in the driver’s central view over 10mm or over 40mm in the swept area can cause MOT issues – so get it fixed pre-MOT.

Get your MOT done somewhere you trust

Checking reviews to see what other drivers have experienced at a garage will help you get a sense of whether they’re trustworthy.

Some garages may perform extra maintenance which wouldn’t be considered necessary which can be frustrating as a driver. If you feel like you’ll get a fair service from a garage and can trust their evaluation, you’ll probably feel better about whatever price you pay in the end.

You can also make use of council MOT test centres which can still allow your vehicle to pass with minor faults, provided you then fix them yourself. With these areas in mind, you can save yourself some money on getting an MOT for your vehicle for another year. If you do end up having to pay for repairs, it will still be in your best interest to have them done despite the cost. Otherwise, you could run into bigger issues down the road which could have been preventable

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