Or is it better if we do them in two different places?

MOT Test = Ministry of Transport Test - an annual test carried out on vehicles over 3yrs old in the UK to ensure they are roadworthy (i.e. safe and meet emission standards)

  • 1
    What is MOT????
    – jp2code
    Jan 4, 2012 at 22:46
  • @jp2code The MOT certificate confirms that at the time of the test, without dismantling it, the vehicle met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by UK law. Feb 2, 2012 at 10:58
  • Oh, I see. This is a European term, then. Here in the US, we call them Inspection Stickers. :)
    – jp2code
    Feb 2, 2012 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


It depends how much you trust your garage!

If you want a 'proper' by-the-book MOT, the best places to go can often be council-run MOT centres. These are run for their own benefit (i.e. to test municipal vehicles), and don't offer any other services, so they are less inclined to try and con you out of other work like some less scrupulous garages have been known to do.

As Graeme says, some garages will offer you a discount if you get a service done at the same time as the test, but I am always wary of places that offer such things too cheaply. I have heard stories of cars coming back from a service in a worse state than they went (e.g. not changing the oil or filter on the basis that many customers wouldn't know the difference between new and old).

My advice would be to find a small, local, reliable garage (ask around your friend/neighbours/colleagues for recommendations) and build up a rapport with them. They might charge a bit more than a big chain (typically they will charge full price for the MOT for example, but will usually be a lot cheaper than a dealer for labour), but they will give you a much better service. As an example, I've had testers look over the car before starting the official test and point things out to me, or adjust things like headlamp aim, that would otherwise have failed the test. Especially useful when you have a lamp fail on the way to the test!

As for timings, I tend to have each done when it is needed. If they happen to coincide, so be it, otherwise I'll do them separately. Admittedly, I tend to do most of my servicing myself (much cheaper!), so arranging garage appointments is less of an issue. I find the cost of the MOT is fairly minimal compared to the other costs of motoring, so spacing that out isn't as important - Unless, of course, a lot of work is needed! It is good practice to make sure that the MOT isn't due at the same time as the tax however, as you'll inevitably end up rushing to get it done to get the paperwork in place!

  • Thanks :) I've actually bought the car 2 month ago and have 6 month guarantee on it, that's why I'm thinking about having full service now (along with my MOT which is due now) - so if anything serious is wrong I can use my guarantee. What do you think about this? Jan 5, 2012 at 21:16
  • I should say in the past two month I feel everything is very OK. Having this in mind does it worth spending £100+ for full service? Jan 5, 2012 at 21:17
  • To be honest, I doubt anything major would turn up in a normal service. Did you get anyone to check the car before you bought it? That is generally a more reliable way of spotting major flaws.
    – Nick C
    Jan 6, 2012 at 9:48

This depends entirely on your budget rather than good practice.

Of course it is far more convenient to do the two together and there is a chance of a reduction in labour costs if they are done at the ame time by the same garage.

You may also need a full service at the time, in which case definitely, but if it is not absolutely necessary then I would say no.

If you have to look after the pennies then you may choose to do the service at another time due to the yearly cost.

It is wise to spread all annual costs of motoring over the year, such as Insurance, Tax, Service and MOT so that you always have the finance in place to be able to do this, otherwise you can end up without a car for a while


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