How much is an MOT? Your complete guide

How much is an MOT? Your complete guide
The MOT is an important annual assessment that ensures your car meets the UK's minimum road safety and environmental standards. How much you will pay for the MOT will be determined by the type of vehicle you drive.

MOT fees are calculated against the type of vehicle you have. There is also a price cap, set out by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which means there is a maximum price a garage or test centre can charge you for an MOT.

Many cars pass the MOT at the first attempt, but it is important to note that the 12-month certificate is only a record of your car's condition at the time when the test was carried out. Therefore, it's vital that you continue to perform simple car maintenance checks on a regular basis.

How much does an MOT cost?

When it comes to booking an MOT, there are a variety of factors that come into play when it comes to the final price. However, drivers of a car (with up to eight passengers) has a maximum fee of £54.85; and a standard motorcycle will have a maximum of £29.65.

The official website highlights that there are 21 different categories of vehicle that need to have an annual MOT. The price ranges from £29.65, up to £124.50. However, the more expensive options only relate to buses and large commercial vehicles.

What is an MOT?

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport. It is the annual vehicle safety inspection carried out in the United Kingdom for most vehicles more than three years old (four years in Northern Ireland).

The MOT test ensures that vehicles meet the minimum safety and environmental standards set by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Older vehicles that were built or first registered over 40 years ago may be exempt from the MOT; however, many owners of classic and historic cars choose to get their car MOT tested every year to assess its road worthiness.

During an MOT test, trained technicians inspect various components of the vehicle, including its brakes, lights, tyres, steering, suspension, exhaust emissions, and overall structural integrity.

The goal is to determine whether the vehicle is roadworthy and safe to be driven on public roads. If the vehicle passes the test, it receives an MOT certificate valid for one year.

Without a valid MOT certificate, it is illegal to get back behind the wheel until the fixes have been made.

Book your next MOT today with the RAC.

How long does an MOT take?

The MOT test takes around an hour to complete, but exact times will depend on how busy the garage/MOT test centre is. If the garage has lots of MOT tests booked, you may be asked to drop the car off in the morning and collect it in the afternoon.

If the car passes the MOT then you get a new pass certificate that will be valid for 12-months.

Things become a little more complicated if the vehicle fails the MOT. If the car has a Dangerous defect, you can not to drive until the vehicle has been fixed. A Major defect is deemed less serious, you may be able to drive to a garage for a repair if the existing MOT certificate has not expired.

What is a car service?

A car service refers to a series of inspections, adjustments, and replacements performed on a vehicle at regular intervals or as recommended by the manufacturer.

The purpose of a car service is to ensure the proper functioning, reliability, and longevity of the vehicle.

A typical car service involves several tasks, which may vary depending on the vehicle's make, model, age, and mileage.

Some common aspects of a car service include oil and filter changes; fluid checks and top-ups; a brake and tyre inspection; battery and electronics tests; air filter and spark plug replacement; suspension and steering inspection; as well as a general inspection of the wear or potential issues that could arise ahead of your next MOT.

Car services are typically performed by a trusted local garage or by a mobile mechanic.

Following the recommended service intervals outlined in the vehicle's owner's manual helps maintain its performance, reliability, and safety.

Regular servicing can also help identify and address potential problems before they become major issues, potentially saving money on costly repairs down the line.

Can you pay for an MOT and car service together?

Yes, it is often possible to pay for an MOT and car service together, especially if you take your vehicle to local garage that offers both services.

Many establishments offer combined packages or promotions where you can have the MOT test and car service done at the same time for a bundled price.

MOT and Service Plans allows a car owner to spread the cost for both over a longer period of time – rather than in one payment when the work is carried out.

Combining the MOT and car service can be convenient because it allows you to have both essential maintenance tasks completed in a single visit.

It ensures that your vehicle undergoes the necessary safety inspection whilst also receiving the recommended maintenance procedures.

You can also do both your MOT and service at different times. In some cases, it is advised to have a service every six months or 6,000 miles – whichever comes first.

Depending on a variety of factors, the cost for a car service can vary.

What does an MOT and service cost?

If you are looking to have your MOT and service carried out by a mechanic on the same day, then there will be an additional cost.

This doesn’t include any maintenance work carried out to make sure that the vehicle passes its MOT test.

A full service should be carried out every 12 months or 12,000 miles – whichever comes first – and is a more extensive version of the interim service (every six months or 6,000 miles).

You can have both an interim and full service in the same year.

The price can also depend on make, model, age, size, mileage, previous history, location of garage, time of year, and many other factors.

A full service for a small-sized car will cost between £170 and £210; £210 to £300 for a medium-sized car; and more than £400 for a large car.

An interim service will cost between a third and half the price of a full version. You will then need to add this to the cost of MOT and repairs.

If you are looking to carry out a service, repair, or MOT on your vehicle, then the RAC has a wide range of services and local garages to help you.

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