Once you’ve figured out that your car, motorbike or van needs a MOT test, the next decision is about where you have it done. Luckily, you’ve got loads of choice and wherever you live in the UK, you should be able to find somewhere close to home, work or another convenient location. What sort of places are testing stations? Garages which are licensed and approved to perform MOT tests are known as testing stations.
If a garage, or a mechanic working as a sole trader wishes to register to provide MOTs, they have to go through an approval process. This process is run by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which is a government body. Premises approved for MOT tests display a special sign which is three white triangles on a blue background. There is a wide range of garages and mechanics approved to run MOT tests. Some are very small, single-mechanic operations in country villages who make their money doing MOTs for every vehicle in the area. In towns and cities, you may have more choice. Large car dealerships which sell new and used cars or offer servicing or body repairs will usually do MOT tests too.
Lots of chain mechanics such as Halfords, Kwik-Fit or National Tyres will do MOT tests. In some areas there is also the option of a Council run testing station – the downside to this option is that these places don’t offer any repairs if your car fails. You’d have to take it away, have it repaired, and get it retested elsewhere. Choosing a MOT testing station The whole idea behind the MOT test is that it is a standard process, wherever you get it done. In theory, you should get the same service from a tiny independent as from a large chain garage.
Most people choose a location which is convenient for either home or work. MOT tests can take around an hour, and you’re free to wait and observe should you wish to do so. Many people however choose to drop their car off in the morning and pick it up on their way home. One of the advantages of using one of the larger garages for MOT testing is that you can get other things done at the same time.
Many customers choose to get their annual service done at the same time as their MOT check. Others ask for their car to be valeted, or just washed. None of this is part of the core MOT test though, and will cost extra. Price is another factor to consider when it comes to MOT tests. The fee set by the government is just the maximum price which can be charged for a MOT. Garages are free to charge less if they wish to do so. Many of the larger chains choose to discount their MOT costs to attract customers. If you’re having your car serviced or getting new tyres at the same time, you might be able to agree a lower price for the MOT.