Save on MOT Bills

in Motoring
221 replies 152.7K views
This thread has been replaced by the full new guide
Which includes an updated comprehensive list of Council MOT centres






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If you want to avoid unnecessary repair bills come next MOT time, stop taking your car to be tested by a garage. My car is 17 years old, with 178000 miles on the clock, but it hasn't failed an MOT in the seven years since I've been getting it tested by the county council! The point is that they don't repair vehicles for the public, only test them, so there's no financial incentive for them to fail the test unless it's genuinely warranted.
(PS. If you're already using the council's VTS and the car's still failing, buy a Honda! !;D)

INSERT BY MARTIN 6 May: MoneySaver Bambie Blou has kindly collated all the council MOT centres people suggested later on in this thread (huge thanks). !To make it easier I am reprinting it here at the top

Government MOT test centres open to the public:
  • WYMAS (West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service)
  • Essex County Council, Coval Lane, Chelmsford – 01245 435108
  • Factory Lane, Croydon, Surrey.
  • Banbury, Oxfordshire – search under MOT on the Cherwell DC website.
  • [possibly…] Ambulance Station near Magic Roundabout, Swindon
  • County Transport, Ripley Road, Ambergate, Derbyshire, DE56 2ER – 01773 856667
  • County Transport, Brimington Road North, Whittington Moor, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 9BE – 01246 450705
  • County Transport, Halstead Garage, Dove Holes, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 8BJ – 01298 813141
  • Near Wetherby just outside Thorpe Arch trading estate between York and Leeds
  • GMAS (Greater Manchester Ambulance Service), Walmsley Road, Bury Station.
  • Bedfordshire County Council Vehicle Depot, London Road, Bedford – 01234 327369 (now privatised and run by Balfour Beatty Plant Services but the staff are unchanged)
  • Thamesdown Bus Garage, Corporation Street, Swindon. ·Medway Council – 01634 306000
.
  • Westside Motors at the junction of Lanark Road and Inglis Green Road, EH13, Scotland (not CC but apparently v. honest and fair)
  • Edinburgh City Council, CEC Fleet Services, Gorgie, Russell Road – 0131 337 2307 (choose option 1 for their workshops) OR City Fleet Services, 38 Russell Road, Edinburgh – 0131 347 1950 …….which one is it guys?
  • Wandsworth Council, South London – 0208 871 6761
  • Colchester Borough Council, MOT Testing & Vehicle Servicing, Unit 8 Westside Centre, London Road, Stanway, Colchester, CO3 8PH – 01206 282624
  • The bus depot in Plymouth
  • Inverurie, Aberdeen – 01467 627538 (Alistair Smith)
  • Nottinghamshire County Council, Rolleston Drive Workshops, Arnold, Nottingham, NG5 7JE – 0115 956 7420
  • North London, there is on in Enfield- Carterhatch lane
NB: Apparently Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Merton, Ealing and the London Ambulance Service all DO NOT carry out MOTs
For further information scroll down the following thread and you will see the original post made about each area
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Replies

  • FranFran Forumite
    11.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    I always ask the garage if I can take the car elsewhere to be fixed if it fails. If it does fail I ask them how much and then get quotes from other garages on the specific problem. At least then if you have to use a garage they think you are going elsewhere and (hopefully) think they won't gain from failing you. Your idea sounds very interesting though....
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    do all councils do this? and which dept do i need to speak to.
    thanks
  • debeastdebeast Forumite
    190 Posts
    That sounds like a great Tip Can you supply any more details ????
    -34k to 0 from september '05
    Debt Free, Stoozing King, Shrewd spender
  • debeastdebeast Forumite
    190 Posts
    Thats an even nicer tip

    I work at a hospital :)
    -34k to 0 from september '05
    Debt Free, Stoozing King, Shrewd spender
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    43.8K Posts
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    One thing to be wary of though is that if your car does fail the MOT somewhere where you can't get it repaired, then you can't just keep driving it around until you get round to getting it fixed. I believe you can drive it home (unless the inspector declares it too dangerous to do so), but thereafter you can only drive it to a garage or an MOT test station, and it's possibly as restrictive as you having to have an appointment booked at the place you're driving it to.

    If you do continue driving a car with a failed MOT your insurance may not be valid.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • moneysavermoneysaver Forumite
    769 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
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    You can go and get your car tested upto 30 days before your current MOT expires, if it fails you then have 14 days in which to get the fault repaired, you can then go back to the MOT station for the test no charge 2nd time. If you leave it after 14 days you will be charged for 2nd test.

    If it passes they will then give you a certificate post dated to your current Mot date if you supply the old one at the time of the test. Which means you are still legally driving with a current MOT in the 30 day period.

    Moneysaver
  • debeastdebeast Forumite
    190 Posts
    I forgot about that Moneysaver :P

    Better get on the dog to WYMAS 30 days before then :)

    Are you sure it's mandatory to get a free retest ? I'm sure thats not always the case, maybe you've got a nice garage
    -34k to 0 from september '05
    Debt Free, Stoozing King, Shrewd spender
  • moneysavermoneysaver Forumite
    769 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
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    I use an MOT station they do not do repairs, but as far as I know if your car fails & you take it back repaired within 14 days then all garages will not charge again. If anyone works for an MOT garage then please post here if I am wrong.

    Moneysaver ;)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
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    I use:

    Essex County Council
    Coval Lane
    Chelmsford
    01245 435108

    They tell me that all county councils do tests for the general public, except those who contract out their vehicle maintenance and don't have their own garage.

    (Remember it's illegal to drive an unroadworthy car at any time, whether it has a valid MOT or not.)

    In April 2000 when I collected my car from a service, the garage gave me a list of work costing over £700 they said needed doing. I asked how necessary it was, and he said it would need doing for the MOT. He looked pretty sheepish when I told him that it had been done the previous week!! The car's been through another three tests since then and I still haven't had the work done.
    In 28 years of motoring I never had any car pass more than two consecutive tests at any garage, until I started using the council. A colleague had been telling people for years that he never had any trouble using the council, but I'd never taken much notice.
  • FranFran Forumite
    11.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    I've just done an internet search - MOT; difficult to find rules on failing MOT, this is a quote from http://www.bobmckay.co.uk/readmefirst.html

    "You should be aware that although a vehicle can be driven to and from a testing station for the purposes of having its MOT by appointment, if defects are notified to you either on an advisory note or a VT30 failure certificate, on the way back you are now driving a vehicle knowing it to be defective. Should an accident occur as a result of those defects you could have a problem!"

    There are a lot of sites relating to MOT though.

    The above posting is very interesting.
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
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