The importance of MOT testing

Any motorist who has a car will know about MOT’s. Short for Ministry of Transport testing, are yearly checks that are effectively a full ‘service’ that ensures your car is fit to be on the road, and gives you that all important certificate that allows you to get your car insurance.  No certificate, no insurance, as simple as that, and driving without either is illegal, dangerous and can lead to a hefty fine and your car being seized.

Maintaining your car is vital for the safety of you and your passengers, as well as extending the lifespan of the vehicle. While there are many ways to make sure your car is well maintained, an MOT is a legal obligation that every motorist has to comply with. Currently, every car that is over three years of age has to have an annual MOT Test, and if you have looked after your car through the preceding year it should pass without too many problems.

The tests carried out should be the same wherever you go, and ensure you take your car somewhere that displays a blue sign with 3 white triangles, indicating that is has been approved by the Ministry of Transport to carry out MOT’s.  The testing covers both safety and emission and will carry out specific tests on areas such as brakes, lights, fuel system, doors, seats, seatbelts, steering controls and even the horn.

The high bills associated with MOT’s occur when it fails in one or more areas during the MOT check, and the garage tells you what needs fixing and how much it will cost. Now this is an area that confuses many people, as if your car fails the MOT check and you are presented with the list of repairs needed, you can take your car elsewhere to get the work done of you feel the price is over the top.

You will then have to return it to the original MOT centre and have it retested to get your certificate. Many are under the impression that you have to get the work done at the centre where the test took place, this isn’t the case but you will more than likely have to pay for the retest. If you have managed to get a cheap MOT you may have to pay full price for the retest, and this is something you should find out in advance before booking your car in.

There are also some garages that will give you a partial retest at a reduced price if you return it there within a set time period, say a week or 10 days for example. There is always the temptation to get it fixed on the cheap by buying a part from a scrap yard and getting the enthusiastic amateur down the road to fit it, but if they bodge it up and you have to keep getting it retested, you could end up well out of pocket.

Ultimately it is your call, but if you carrying around such precious cargo as your family, you want to relax in the knowledge that your car is as safe to be on the road as is possible, and common sense should very much prevail.

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