Tackling the annual MOT Test

All motorists that own a car of three and more years of age, highlights motoring journalist Iain Robertson, are obliged to have its roadworthiness checked out officially on an annual basis, by making an appointment at an MOT Test Centre.

There has been some kerfuffle recently with the government wanting to change the MOT Test frequency from annual to every couple of years, and increase the time for the first Test from three years to four, as a cost-saving gesture. Fortunately, road safety bodies felt strongly that extending the test period might lead to some untenable compromises. Thus, the annual test for cars over three years old remains unchanged, for the time being.

Even vehicles garaged and maintained carefully suffer from the rigours of ageing. Pipes and exhaust systems rust. Tyres and wiper blades perish. Both steel and alloy wheels can be damaged by potholes. Brake pads, discs and linings can show excess wear and, while bulbs can blow, headlamps can also suffer from misalignment. All aspects can affect the owner’s safety, as well as compromise that of other road-users.

As environmental pressures must also be dealt with, an MOT Test also checks that your vehicle meets the legal minimum emissions, by evaluating a number of select gases for petrols, or measuring the smoke for diesels. Some cars, such as certain classic cars and hybrids are exempt from emissions testing. The maximum cost of carrying out an MOT Test for a standard passenger car is £54.85, which includes people-carriers, SUVs and motor caravans. Although you may be able to view the Test being carried out, it will be from a safe viewing area and will be done by a qualified tester, who logs in and out of the MOT server. It is worth pointing out that an MOT Test does not cover the conditions of engine, gearbox, or clutch and the tester cannot carry-out any dismantling.

Bear in mind that, while you are allowed to drive your car pre-arranged to and from an MOT Test Centre, even though it may not carry a current Test Receipt, it is illegal to drive it otherwise. While the MOT Test is stringent, the tester is allowed some leeway and may issue an ‘Advisory Notice’ on certain elements that might pass the Test today but would fail before the next one is due. You should not ignore these ‘Advisories’, as they are a serious recommendation for action to be taken not just for safety reasons, but also because the legality of your car may be compromised. Bear in mind that you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and receive three penalty points on your Driver’s Licence, for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition! This includes situations, such as driving a car that has failed an MOT Test, without having the remedial work performed, when an earlier MOT has yet to expire.

The majority of Mr Clutch Autocentres in the UK have dedicated MOT Test facilities, which means that, should any repair work be needed to obtain a clean bill of health on your car, it can be carried out cost-effectively and efficiently. If you visit the website: www.mrclutch.com/mot, and enter your postcode, you can find a Mr Clutch MOT Test Centre closest to your location.

The MOT staff at Mr Clutch Autocentres are DVSA trained and qualified and the company charges just £24.00 for an MOT Test, at participating branches, which ensures that you receive the best value for money as part of the company’s inclusive service. Once again, Mr Clutch Autocentres understand how to remove the ‘sting’ from car costs and pass on the savings to you.

Responsible drivers appreciate that their cars should be safe, environmentally sound and road legal. A comprehensive MOT Test is a means by which to authorise your car’s place on our roads and regular servicing and taking care of your car’s condition are the best ways to ensure that you will not receive unwanted surprises when the Test date arrives.