Advice and Tips

The cost of an MOT

Moneybarn News // 24 June 2016

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Another 12 months have passed and it’s the dreaded time of year when your MOT is due. We bet your initial thoughts are ‘will my car even pass?’, ‘What is likely to be wrong with it?’, and most importantly, ‘how much is it going to cost me?’.

Today we’re going to look into the true cost of an MOT, from the initial cost of the service right down to the most frequent problems and prices. This way you’ll have a rough idea of the costs before you set off to the garage.

What is a MOT?

The MOT test is an annual test of vehicle safety for all cars over three years old. An MOT tests vehicle safety, roadworthiness aspects and exhaust emissions. For a car to be worthy of driving on the road it must have passed an MOT test. If your car fails its MOT test you must get any problems the garage has specified fixed before your car is worthy of driving on the road.

Where can I get an MOT test?

MOT tests are carried out at around 21,000 authorised test centres all over the country. The cost of an MOT can vary depending on where you take it so it is important to look around for competitive prices before you book in. The maximum fee for a car is £54.85 although after a quick search you can find some for as little as £19.

What are the silly reasons a car will fail?

Almost two in five MOT tests fail first time. In most cases this is because of minor faults that could easily be fixed at home beforehand. We’ve got four reasons your car might fail its MOT.

#1 Low on screen wash

This is a basic task that takes a couple of minutes, it’s a good idea to make sure you check and top up your screen wash before your MOT. 

#2 Registration plate problems

Some people will buy a different number plate that is either personalised or has a fancy font but isn’t DVLA approved. If your registration plate shows incorrect typeface or spacing (or even worse, is missing altogether) you could fail.

#3 Stickers blocking the driver’s view

Anything that is stuck to your windscreen such as a tax disk (if you’ve not taken it down yet) or parking permits, these should not restrict your view. These should all be stuck outside of the wipers’ sweep area.

#4 Lit-up warning on the dashboard

If you have any warning lights on your dashboard make sure you find out and fix the problem before you have your MOT as this could result in a fail.

All of the above problems could be easily fixed by you before your check-up, and you can walk away paying just the cost of your MOT. If, however, you attend your MOT with any of the above problems you will have to either pay the garage to fix them or go home and fix them then pay for another MOT.

How can I help my car pass?

The things we’ve mentioned above can help to increase the chances of your car passing its MOT. It’s a good idea to check over your car around one week before. Headlights and indicators are just a couple of the areas you can check (and potentially fix) yourself, all you need to do is check all bulbs are in working order.

Whether you’re a new driver, looking to buy your first car, or you’ve suffered from financial trouble in the past – which could be missed payments, CCJs or even IVAs – we can help. At Moneybarn, we specialise in offering car finance to people experiencing poor credit. Speak with our team for a free quote and to see how we can help you drive away in a new car.