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Save money: have your MoT done before your service

Published 16 June 2017

Motorists could make huge savings by having their MoT test done ahead of their vehicle's annual service, according to new research by repair and maintenance specialist MotorEasy

Analysis of 20,000 vehicle histories has shown that 80 per cent of faults found during the service would be flagged in the MoT test anyway, meaning that many services are unnecessarily duplicating work and labour costs.

Top 10: The most common MoT failure points in the UK

The average MoT test takes around an hour to carry out, meaning that an hour’s worth of labour could be saved by having the annual MoT carried out before any subsequent service.

"When booking the two together, you should always request that the MoT is done first"

MotorEasy argues that, if every motorist had an MoT test before a service and every car required at least one hour’s worth of work, the amount of money saved would total £2 billion. The news comes as a recent report showed that the average cost of having a car repaired at a garage can vary by more than £160 an hour, which means thousands of motorists are being left out of pocket.

The MoT test covers all of the major areas, such as bodywork, steering, suspension, emissions and brake performance. That just leaves any hidden leaks and planned renewal items, such as oil, filters, spark plugs and gearbox oils as the main things that would be covered by the service.

"When booking the two together, you should always request that the MoT is done first so that there is less work to carry out on the service," said MotorEasy founder, Duncan McClure Fisher. 

“While we know that not every single car will require work at every service or MoT, there’s a good proportion of motorists who are needlessly doubling up on costs. With better planning and organisation of your car’s maintenance schedule, those costs could be avoided,” he added. 

Are you looking for a trustworthy garage for your next MoT? Check out the Good Garage Guide



Robert McAuley    on 22 June 2017

Would be better that ALL MOT centres follow the Northern Ireland lead whereby they have Government test centres and there is little, if any, degree of rip-off!

HondaMan983    on 23 June 2017

I always insist that services are done BEFORE MoTs. That way I get a clean MoT certificate with no advisories (hopefully). I find that this gives a better impression when selling the car.

Wantok    on 26 June 2017

I fully agree with you. I always do the same -ie service and check before MOT

Makes much more sense - - and helps to sell the car with a clean MOT record :-)

bobber    on 24 June 2017

If the service is done (properly) first, then a potential MoT failure will be avoided.

Mot Centre Reading Ltd    on 21 August 2017

your wrong sir some things on a car are not covered on a service yes the faults will be listed on your service but it will not be fixed unless you as a customer agree to it and happy to pay for it to be done.

Mot Centre Reading Ltd    on 21 August 2017

As a garage owner Myself when my customers book a mot and service combined we always carry out the mot first because if they have £3/400 pounds worth of mot failure work required then just doing the work and then the service cost on top customers just cannot afford it as they are on a budget just like me as a garage owner just because i have a business it does not mean to say i am always flush with cash so i treat my customers with the same respect which is why we have fantastic reviews

this then gives them the chance to just have the mot failure work carried out and i say to them have the service done next month when you get paid, or if a full service was required just do the oil and filter for now if you can afford it as this is the most important bit that your car requires we have checked all the other important things on the mot such as brakes etc so that will be fine

I think a lot of people on here have got confused HAVE THE MOT DONE BEFORE THE SERVICE, having advisories on the mot does not mean to say you are not looking after your car,advisory is what it says on the tin advise means it does not need doing right now, what is dangerous will be failed on a mot and not advised at all.
My advise to customers is to stay away from the big chains i will not mention them as i could be sued but small independant garages like myself need the customer more than he/she needs me there is plenty of competition out there but if you are a genuine person anyway it comes with the territory the big chains will rip you of it is installed into the staff from above its called BONUS.
They are paid Peanuts so they have to upsell it makes the garage money and they hit bonus to make up their wages and it is about time the Garage industry was more regulated to stop it, i do feel sorry for customers and people that have no idea what makes a car function or how it works, i am speaking out because something happened to me the other day.
A customer brought their car to me for a mot, my mot tester tested the car and we found a worn out and leaking shock absorber on the rear plus a few advisories like tyres on the limit etc we do not upsell or put pressure on the customer to have the work done as it is embarrassing for them when they cant afford it,. but we where told it had a knock before we tested it, well when we found the shock absorber we assumed we had found the problem and did not think anymore about it drove it out the garage i could not hear any noise and was happy because the bill was low all work completed for £240 including vat that's all parts labour and cost of mot i am in the south near london not up north so my overheads are very high.
we did not realise the car STILL had a very slight knock on the front which you could only hear on very bad roads with lots of potholes as there is around my garage which The roads have not been put right since we have had the very bad snow a few years back, so the customer automatically assumes we have ripped them of so they take it to another garage who looks at the car and says the car is a death trap and should not have passed its mot the suspension drop links are worn out this that and the other the car a vauxhall astra 2008 well this is how stupid some people can be as they believe the other garage so they come back to me questioning how there car passed its mot when it has a knock,we are not happy we paid you a lot of money and we want you to fix it for nothing for free, so i said ok i will put your car on my ramp and you can show me all these faults you have written down on a piece of paper and while we are here did the other garage show you the faults NO was the reply, so you believed them without them showing you and you automatically come running down here guns blazing etc etc so why did you not come down here in the first place when you drove away and can still here this knock bearing in mind it is only there when you hit a pot hole or a uneven road. you said to me when you booked your car into my garage you booked here because of our good reviews so what all of a sudden made you think i am now dishonest, because you now think you are going to get something done on your car for nothing that is why you come running back down here because you ASSUME i have not done my job properly, well they did not like that did they, sorry i say it as it is and the amount of people that do not like the truth is amazing yet the car is dangerous but there is your daughter sat in the back of the car did you not think of not putting her in there then before you couldn't wait to get back down here.
so i put the car on my ramp and take the customer with me, right then sir please show me these faults you have listed suspension drop links worn out balljoints on your lower suspension arms etc etc, i am not a mechanic and i have no idea what these parts are on the car, so i show him and i spend 15/20 minutes showing him how you test these parts bear in mind now i am not getting paid to do this, well he then said what is the knock then, hmn from experience i think you have very and i mean very slight play in the inner track control arms which is very very hard to detect if the play is hardly there so we would not mention it on the mot as we cant even feel the play from the wheel side to side check etc etc and we would advise the customer to let it do its job and get progressively worse where it is obvious that there is a problem there and they need changing but at the moment it is nothing to worry about and they certainly do not need changing right now and if the play was more than it is now and my testor could feel it on the lock to lock or up and down wheel check we would have advised it like we advised your front tyres but yes after doing another 100 miles since the car was tested no new tyres on the front have been fitted, i asked him why you have not changed the tyres his answer i am waiting for my mate to get me some PART WORN TYRES for me, i just shock my head in disbelief i am thinking to carry your daughter around in the back of it really clever that is don't you think.
so the other garage which they were reluctant to tell me who they are and when i kept on they then said a garage up the road but cant remember the garage name because i feel the other garage where hoping the customer would turn around to say to them please just do the work, yes a nice job for the garage twice as much as my original bill time you change both lower suspension arms ,suspension drop links and the o/s/r shock absorber as the other garage said you always change them in pairs, i agree but not when you have rigorously checked the other shock absorber like we did and found no play in the top and bottom bush and no fluid leak, this could have been replaced previously by the previous owner we do not ask questions like that otherwise we waste to much time rather then getting on with any work, a small business owner like me would know where i am coming from there, every hour in a day is vital as i work my expenses out by the day so if i have not hit target by 1800pm any work left over i do it myself so the business makes enough money to cover its costs for the day, i can not take wages which is nothing new for me so its straight profit for my business unlike my staff who would expect time and half overtime etc etc which the business just cant afford, when you have a grafter like me i survive and it is the only reason today the business is still surviving
But i did not get a apology from my customer and his wife said well we will never ever come back here and i said that is your prerogative madam and to be honest i can do without customers like you who seem to hate having to spend money on your car and want to make your problem my problem, sorry i am not the manufacturer of the car i am merely paid to fix it and give my customers good sound advice on how to safe money all free i may add.
so this is why this industry has a bad name but customers also now how to twist things as well and i am afraid in this day and age they expect to much for free as well.
what chuckles me more than anything is they soon start stating you will fix it for free yet have no knowledge or idea about a car or even to know if there is a problem with the car, this sort of customer i have just dealt with never comes to a garage unless they need a mot or the car will not start when they need to get to work.
This is why we can never ever scrap the mot scheme or increase it beyond 3 years from new as there would be thousands or millions of dangerous cars on our uk roads all waiting to kill some innocent person that looks after and maintains his car properly I hope you enjoyed reading my little Article and hope it also helps customers when dealing with dodgy garages as well because yes, they are out there be warned because hopefully one day you will get caught and banged to rights and i as a business owner who loves his job and has learned to be a mechanic late in life as my proper profession is a transport operator and yes i was fed up with being ripped of by garages on labour parts etc i knew because i knew the basics and how cars function my grandad was a mechanic and so was his dad so its in my blood, i just couldn't fit a alternator or starter motor, or radiator as i did not have the patience but i was determined to learn and when my fleet of cars and vans expanded as my business grew i bought a garage took on staff and taught myself with the help of my staff and i took a imi training course qualified at vel 3 and i am also now a fully qualified mot tester on all classes of vehicles, i did all this at 45 years old so yes anybody can do it if you have the time and the belief you can do it.

so remember book a mot and service combined and insist to the garage you have the Mot done first and not the other way around, because if your money is tight at the time you have the choice of having the mot work done only so your car is legal instead of having a big bill forced on you that you have no means of paying it

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