Opinion: The MOT test would be a bargain at double the price

Several news outlets are reporting that the cost of the annual test could hit £80 by 2034

Opinion: The MOT test would be a bargain at double the price

According to several online news outlets, drivers should be prepared for a steep rise in the price of an MOT test, with reports that it could rise to £80 by 2034.

Taking inflation into account, the cost could hit £372 by 2074, although quite what the MOT test will look like in 50 years is anyone’s guess.

The headlines are pretty alarming. “Drivers warned that MOT test prices could rise to £372 amid ‘exponential increase’ in car repair costs,” GB News says.

“Drivers warned MOT test price will rise to £372 and ‘it’s vital’,” the Birmingham Mail reports.

“Motorists risk getting ‘priced out’ of driving with rising MOT test and repair costs,“ the Express warns.

There are other variations on the theme, but the message is clear: drivers should brace themselves for an annual shock when booking an MOT test.

Or should they? The headlines are based on comments made by David Kottaun, operations manager at Scrap Car Comparison. He says: “2023 was an expensive year for car repairs, with the cost of carrying out repairs increasing more and more for garages, leading them to hike up repair bills for motorists. 

“Our research has shown that if car repairs continue to increase at the same rate they have been, drivers of the future could be facing bills of thousands of pounds simply to keep their vehicles on the road.

“However, while the price hikes in our research predict an exponential increase when calculated using current rates of inflation, we hope this doesn’t actually turn out to be the case. 

“With our previous research finding that motorists are refraining from making essential repairs due to the cost, it’s vital that we find a way to keep car repairs as affordable as possible for all drivers, so that every motorist can afford to stay safe on the roads, in addition to being there in the first place. 

“We hope it never reaches the point where people are priced out of being able to travel freely to work, or to see their family and friends”.

So, no mention of the MOT test. And when David says “it’s vital”, he’s referring to the need to keep car repairs affordable for the masses, which isn’t particularly controversial or alarming.

But here’s the thing: the MOT test is a bargain. A garage can charge a maximum fee of £54.85 for a qualified MOT tester with years of experience to assess the roadworthiness and safety of a car. That’s incredible value for money, especially when many garages charge less.

For context, the average gym membership costs £40 per month, while a top-tier Sky subscription costs £45. You’ll need the former if you spend too much time enjoying the latter.

Crucially, neither a strenuous workout nor some time in front of the telly will keep you, your family and other road users safe from the dangers of a defective car. Not only that, but an MOT test acts like an early warning system for a car; a chance to identify any faults before they become a more serious and expensive problem.

Even at 55 quid, the MOT test is a steal; in Germany, you’ll pay anything up to €150 for a general inspection (Hauptuntersuchung).

Scaremongering in the press devalues the importance of the MOT and the role of the testers who help to keep the good cars on the road and the bad ones off our streets.

At £80 in 2034, drivers would be getting the deal of the decade.


  1. The cost needed to go up now , all operating costs have gone up staff cost gone up electric gone up and general cost gone up it’s pathetic at £54.85 per test

  2. I am glad this point is starting to be discussed, I think the reality of inflation should also be seen as important within the motor industry by parliament. The reality is for years as an industry we have not been valued, by Government, the School and education system, and anyone who has gone through that system, (our customers), things are starting to change but there are so many lost years to catch up on. I remember talking to someone from the IMI ten or so years ago, saying as a vehicle Technician if you want to be able to understand and repair modern vehicles it should be a degree level training, his comment was if you wanted to work on anything as sophisticated back in the 60’s you would have worn a white coat and worked for NASA! The reality is the MOT fee hasn’t been changed since 2010, fourteen years! So in that time I have seen council tax go up, general taxation has also gone up. MP salaries have gone up, vehicle technicians wages have risen significantly and rightfully so (but in the main due to the shortage of good technicians). I could bang on about the constant threat of 4,2,2, and there wasn’t any mention of a like for like increase to 150Euro for that frequency! The requirement for new connected equipment and so much more. It’s about time the leaders of this country started to understand the back bone of the countries economics is small businesses and with the back bone of the motor industry being independent garages, whilst remembering we are businesses not charities!

  3. my guess is because we work for the govt meaning carrying out the Mot Test we are not allowed a pay rise a 10-year-old car can take up to an hour especially when you are listing 20 defects on a mot certificate which takes up your time, your scared to charge 45 pounds let alone 54.85 with 8/9 mot stations on our road its laughable because joey up the road will pass anything for 35,00 quid so what can you do, glad I retire Soon For Sure

  4. I totally agree, parliament as had Mot testing stations over a barrel for long enough and enough is enough ! ,,,
    £54.85 for an Mot test was a reasonable charge for an Mot test 14 years ago but the cost of a test as not gone up in line with all the other costs of running an Mot station in that time and they should now have crept up to around £110.00 for a class 4 & 5 Mot test.
    I can understand why still over 30k Mot testers have still to take their annual exam before the end of March, many testers that I speak to say they no longer what to be an Mot tester as it is to stressful and they can earn more doing technician work rather than doing Mot testing all day.

    With the automotive industry in the UK already short of around 100k auto technicians, bearing that in mind you need to be a technician to help you become an Mot tester, I can see if parliament do not act very very soon there is going to be some major headaches for the automotive industry before long ! ,,,

  5. I was told a few years ago that it would not be good for the fee to rise as tesco have said if they can charge £60 for a test then they would look to put a mot bay at all their supermarket car parks…

  6. I totally agree it needs to go up we started doing motorcycle MOT’S in 2010 when the cost was £29.65 this was 14 years ago which other sector would put up with being treated in this way it should have at least gone up each year at the rate of inflation . Perhaps we should start having a day of action like the DVSA did to get a increase .

  7. Price has been a joke for years! How it’s expected to do anything in the trade for just over 50 quid these days is getting difficult for us all and to say it’s a steep rise to £80 by the year 2032 is an absolute insult to us all. My business has changed massively over the last few years because being a MOT station just isn’t the be all and end all. I can guarantee that if the DVSA thought about it, less mistakes and dodgy tests would happen because test stations wouldn’t have to rush tests to get too many cars through the door to make it work, or maybe have to do dodgy tests to keep the doors open? After all this and most people I hope reading this will agree with me, the fact is when it get announced on the news MOTs are going up we will just be seen as robbing people and be the bad guys again.

  8. You are all absolutely spot on about test fees! But as Dvsa will say as Halfords & other test stations do it for £25 or so they won’t do anything!!
    This industry shoots ourselves in the pocket every time!!

  9. THE MOT Test should be at a fixed rate @ £75, if everybody was charging the same rate you will then find out who the the good stations are. It is amazing that doctors want 35% pay rise, yet testing stations have not had a price rise in over 15 years, my standard of living apparently doesn’t matter, one of the biggest problems is too many testing stations are charging below the recomended rate, if you are going to undercut the MOT you have to make your money elsewhere, therefore repair prices are being increased especially by anyone doing tests below the Maximum Rate, we have to pay our Testers at a higher rate of pay in order to hold onto them.

  10. Peter, that’s true but we don’t all have to sink to the bottom like all those half price VTS’s, or agree with it. Let’s face it we haven’t had an inflationary increase for fourteen years that works out at a £34 reduction in the test fee when you compare 2010 money to today’s value. What other industry doesn’t put its prices up in line with inflation? I know the MP’s haven’t had their salary frozen for fourteen years, go and look at this link https://www.statista.com/statistics/388885/mp-salary-uk/ It’s about time they started to understand the value our trade and the MOT brings to keeping our roads safe.

  11. There shouldn’t be an option to discount the fee for the MOT, DVSA doesn’t discount the tests and examinations they do, and you cant go to a different Post Office to get discount on road tax.
    I’m sure DVSA does however, have significant evidence that the average price charged for an MOT is significantly below the £54.84 that is the maximum, and this is why the maximum charge hasn’t been increased.


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