Bradley Jando | Friday 14th May 2021 4:18pm
The question then is: how much is an MOT & service?
In some cases, this is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question - but we can give you a rough guide.
The cost of an MOT
MOT tests are capped at £54.85 for cars and caravans. Sometimes auto centres give promotional rates (as they’re allowed to charge less than the cap) but this is what to expect for the most part. The tests are less for motorbikes and three-wheel vehicles, because there are usually fewer components to check.
This cost represents the MOT test element.
The cost of a service
There are different levels of servicing that you can have, but, assuming your vehicle needs a full service, our Full Service packages start at £149 for vehicles under 1400cc. This increases for vehicles with larger engines for a number of reasons. Usually, there are more components associated with larger engines, and you also need to use more fluids, such as engine coolant and oil.
The cost of neglecting your vehicle
While the cost of an MOT test isn’t astronomical, the cost of a failed MOT test can be if you’ve neglected your vehicle maintenance for long enough. Things such as failed gaskets, suspension problems, and oil level problems are all things that can be avoided with attention to your vehicle’s condition.
Regularly checking things like your tyre pressure, tyre condition, oil levels, and even your warning lights are great steps in keeping on top of any problems that may start small, but compound into larger, more costly issues.
A better option is to prioritise regular servicing.
What’s the difference between an MOT & Service?
An MOT test essentially covers all of the safety-critical components of your car. They’re the parts of your car that, if they were to fail, could cause serious harm to you, your passengers, or others. These are things like headlights, brakes, mirrors, airbags, tyres, and so on. If your headlights blow on a country road at night, you’re stuck!
A service, on the other hand, covers many of these areas but also checks the mechanical condition of your vehicle. Things like excessively corroded coil springs, exhaust condition (though this could fail the emissions section of an MOT), and the condition of your engine bay belts are all flagged in services.
The logic here is that if your engine stops working then you’ll just have to stop. This is unlikely to be a danger to anyone. Whereas if your brakes stop working then you can’t stop.
So, you may think that avoiding mechanical servicing is fine because it’s not going to result in a failed MOT test. You’d be correct about the latter part, but misguided with the former. A failing head gasket won’t fail an MOT, but if enough oil leaks out and you end up driving with a dry engine, then you’re likely to need to replace your engine before long. This may not fail you an MOT, but it’s likely to make your wallet very unhappy.
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