Trust My Garage want to ensure UK motorists are fully aware of the purpose of the MOT test. They remind us that according to the government’s own website:
‘The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards. It isn’t the same as having your vehicle serviced and doesn’t check its general mechanical condition.’
Motorists also need to know the cheapest MOT test is not necessarily the best. Tests can only be conducted by a trained and qualified individual using expensive and regularly calibrated equipment. The test should take around 45 minutes to complete.
Garages charging around £20 for an MOT test, or even less in some cases, are not charities. The reduction in fee will be recouped elsewhere. Trust My Garage suggest franchised dealers, with their high labour rates, often treat the MOT as a ‘loss-leader’ to retain customers with older vehicles and sell higher priced labour hours. They may also try to give the impression that their MOT test is somehow ‘superior’ to ones carried out by an independent garage.
When all’s said and done the overall bill that follows a ‘cheap’ MOT may be significantly higher than expected as the garage seeks to cover the cost of providing the MOT test at the unrealistic headline-grabbing price. It’s also worth noting 80 per cent of MOTs are still carried out in independent garages.
In the longer term, the answer may be a fixed, or minimum, price for MOTs and a mandatory re-test fee. Fair pricing for MOT tests is better for motorists and garages too, encouraging a ‘good job for a fair price’ ensuring more cars will be safer. The Independent Garage Association will continue to lobby and campaign for the government to enforce this.
In the meantime they are asking Trust My Garage, the independent garage scheme with 2,000 members, to educate motorists on this issue.