Drivers can secure cheaper MOT tests using a little-known method as demand soars

MOT: Quick checks to do before having your test

Drivers can secure discounted MOT tests as demand surges this November with a little-known method, according to experts.

David Kottuan, operations manager at Scrap Car Comparison said motorists could secure their annual DVSA check for “cheaper” by finding a council garage.

As well as immediate savings, drivers could also pay less “in the long run” as tests are completely impartial.

The warning comes as MOT demand continues to surge due to new car registrations in September and a backlog of tests.

Mr Kottuan explained: “Not many people know that lots of councils have their own MOT testing stations for their own vehicles, buses and vans – and by law, these centres must also be open to the public.

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“While these centres generally only carry out tests (and not any subsequent checks), they often will charge a cheaper fee for tests than mainstream garages and test providers.

“Not only this but, due to the fact they will not benefit if your car has to undergo repair work (unlike mainstream garages), council test centres can be trusted to be impartial when it comes to failing or passing your MOT test – which could also save you money in the long run.”

Last month, the AA warned that November would be its busiest month for tests across the whole of 2023.

They predicted MOT centres would be “maxed out” with huge demand for slots across the whole country.

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This time of the year is becoming pandemonium for testers with a six-month leeway on tests introduced from March 2020 because of Covid pushing many spring exams into the Autumn.

James Hosking AA Smart Care managing director commented: “With MOT centres already starting to fill their diaries for the coming weeks, the peak is set to hit throughout November as drivers were able to defer their MOT by six months during the pandemic.”

However, Mr Kottuan has warned that using a council-run garage could backfire and lead to further costs.

He said: “Drivers should seriously consider whether their vehicle is likely to need major repairs before booking at a council test centre because thanks to laws introduced in 2018, cars which receive a ‘dangerous’ fail are not able to be driven until they are fixed.

“This could mean that you’d end up having to pay additional fees to get your vehicle transported to a garage to get necessary repairs done, if it were to fail.”

Mr Kottuan said drivers can find their nearest council-operated MOT centre online or by contacting the council directly.

He added: “You can also find a list of the UK’s council MOT test centres on the UK MOT website. Also keep in mind that under law, the current maximum price for an MOT for a car which can fit up to eight passengers is £54.85 – and so regardless of where you’re booking your MOT, you should not ever be charged more than this.”

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