The MOT is a strange creature: the price of the MOT test is fixed by government (currently at £54.85 for cars and light vans) and yet it can end up leaving you out of pocket if the test flags up major issues that need immediate repair before you can get back out on the road again.
If you are living in areas like London, Newcastle or even Yorkshire having a proper MOT certificate is compulsory. Hence it’s better if you look into your car’s MOT before its due date and save on extra repairing costs.
Here are five ways to save money on your MOT.
Use Your Driver’s Manual as a Cheat Sheet
If you can never remember how long or how many miles should fall between services or oil changes or new tyres and their realignment and balancing, check through your car owner’s hand-book. Not only do these have all this information listed for you, usually under a heading such as ‘Important Dates for Your Diary’ or something similar, but they often have blank pages for you to write your own notes in at the back of the manual.
This is an ideal space to jot down any details your mechanic has mentioned of things that will need repair sooner rather than later so when your MOT looms on the horizon, you will be aware of any potential MOT fails before they arrive as a nasty surprise.
Know the Big Fails
A good way to stay ahead of the MOT inspector is to be aware of the most common MOT fails. A surprising number of these are rooted in a lack of awareness, rather than active neglect of vehicle maintenance. The top three offenders are lights, brakes and tyres, and steering: and under each of these can be found a host of potential issues.
Lights: these include brake lights, dashboard lights and interior and mirror lights as well as fog lights, rear lights and headlights, not to mention your indicators and hazard lights! With so many lights to go through, it can be difficult to remember to check them all.
Check the owner’s manual and note all the places where lightbulbs are a feature – this will help you ensure that you don’t miss any!
Brakes: these should work well at all times, and especially well during an emergency. This means that you should be able to come to a gentle controlled stop as well as perform an emergency stop, using both the service brake and the handbrake or either of them as needed. The cables and fluids that ensure your brakes work well should also be in great condition and the pedals should be free from clutter and it should be easy to use them – in short, the entire braking system will be thoroughly tested.
Steering: Obviously, your means of controlling your vehicle is important, but many people fail their MOT because their steering has too much play in it, or has other issues buried deep under their car. Make sure your mechanic checks out your steering regularly to avoid this being a problem that you face.
Year Round Maintenance
The best way to save money on your MOT is to invest a little in your vehicle all year round. Take your car for its services as needed, and make sure any issues are sorted promptly, before they have a chance to become major issues for you. Then, when it is MOT time, you know that your car is already in good roadworthy condition and shouldn’t have any problems with its MOT. Moreover, If you are looking to book your MOT in Pontefract, you can get your appointment at Reg Greenwood (01977 702317).
Careful Driving – All the Time
Just as children start being good in December in the hope that Father Christmas will then overlook the misdemeanors of summer, so too do drivers begin to take more care with their driving in the run up to their MOT!
Just as with the Naughty and Nice list, this is somewhat futile – any damage already done, will not repair itself by magic! More seriously, being a little boring with your driving all the time: sticking to the speed limit, avoiding rough or poorly maintained roads and actively practicing defensive driving is a very good way to prevent your car from suffering from damage that could be expensive to reverse at MOT time.
Be Tyre Aware
As modern tyres are more and more improved, the MOT rules around them are tightened and made more stringent with each amendment to the MOT checklist. Your tyres now should have sufficient tread depth, be properly aligned and balanced, be from matching pairs (the two back tyres should be the same and the two front tyres likewise – although all four tyres from the same set is the ideal), and be inflated, at all times, to within the optimum levels recommended by the tyre manufacturer.