The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Trusted MOT Centre

When it comes to your MOT test, it’s crucial to find a trusted and reliable MOT centre. Your decision can help save you time and money in the long run while giving you much needed peace mind knowing that your vehicle is correctly assessed and certified. A reputable MOT test centre can help detect any issues that may lead to breakdowns or accidents in the future, ensuring that you and your passengers stay safe on the road. But first, let’s recap what an MOT is and some of the checks performed by DVSA-approved examiners.

What is an MOT Test?

The Road Traffic Act of 1988 mandates all vehicles older than three years to undergo an annual MOT test. However, there are a few MOT exemptions, including electric vehicles and vehicles that are over 40 years old (cars, bikes, vans, and motorbikes), provided there are no significant modifications.

It’s also important to note that only centres with DVSA-approved examiners may carry out an MOT. And, remember that it’s only a visual check and not an actual car service. This means MOT testers only inspect the vehicle for faults and cannot make any repairs which means you still need to book a service if necessary.

If you think your vehicle might be MOT exempt, simply complete the MOT exemption form (V112) on the government website.

Getting Started: Choosing The Right Garage For Your MOT

Once you have identified a few potential MOT centres, it is important to thoroughly research and obtain reviews on each one. You can use online resources such as Google reviews, Facebook page likes and ratings, or industry-specific websites like Trust My Garage. All of these sources will provide honest customer feedback which can help you decide whether a centre is right for you.


Factors to Consider When Choosing an MOT Test Centre

Aside from the reviews, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing a garage for your MOT, including accreditation, equipment, facilities and pricing. Here are a few things you need to look look at in more detail:

  • Ask about the centre’s qualifications and certifications. Ensure that their technicians are qualified and certified by DVSA and ask if they have any specialised training in specific makes or models of vehicles, including electric vehicles and hybrid cars.
  • Look for an MOT centre that is authorised by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the government body responsible for regulating MOT testing in the UK.
  • Check what services they offer. Some centres may offer additional services such as brake pad and tyre replacements, which can save you time and money.
  • Inquire about their customer service policies to make sure that you are well looked after in the event of a dispute or if something goes wrong.
  • Make sure the centre is conveniently located for you and can accommodate your car if it needs to stay for any repair work.
  • Equipment and facilities: Ensure that the MOT centre you choose has the necessary equipment and facilities to test your vehicle correctly.
  • Pricing: Compare prices of different MOT test centres to ensure you get a fair and reasonable deal. Also keep a look out for any special offers or discounts.

Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle for the MOT Centre

Preparing your vehicle for an MOT test can help you pass the test and avoid costly repairs. Here are some tips to prepare your vehicle for an MOT test:

  • Check your lights: Ensure all your lights are working correctly, including indicators, brake lights, and headlights.
  • Inspect your brakes: Check your brake pads, discs, and fluid levels for any wear and tear.
  • Check your tyres: Check your tyre pressure, tread depth, and overall condition.
  • Top up fluids: Ensure all fluids such as oil, coolant, and screen wash are topped up and in good condition.
  • Make sure the outside and inside of your car is clean. Not that a dirty car will result in an MOT failure but it helps the examiner get a better view.
  • Check that the windscreen wipers are in good condition and able to clear rainwater quickly from the windscreen.
  • Make sure your seatbelts work as they should.
  • Check that your registration plate is in line with the DVLA’s regulations.

MOT Failures and MOT Retests

If any component of your vehicle does not meet the legal requirements during an MOT, your car won’t pass the MOT. At this point, examiners will provide a test report with all the identified MOT faults, which must be repaired before the car can be retested.

In some cases, the same MOT centre may be able to carry out the necessary repairs, and they may even offer discounted repair services. All of our Elite Garages, except Strood, offers MOTs and vehicle servicing and you can find the locations on the website. Remember, most reputable MOT centres will offer a free retest within 10 working days so be sure to get your vehicle repaired to benefit from this offer.

Need help passing your MOT the first time? Then we highly recommended reading this comprehensive article.

What Does An MOT Cost?

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) set the MOT price in the UK. The exact MOT cost depends on what type of vehicle you drive. Below is a simple breakdown:

  • Cost of an MOT for a car is set at £54.85
  • MOT price for a motorcycle up to 200cc and over 200cc is £29.65
  • Cost of an MOT for vans up to 3,500kg is £58.60

The GOV.UK website has a detailed list of vehicles and their respective maximum MOT costs. Remember, the MOT fee does not include VAT.


Finding a trusted MOT test centre is crucial to ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. By considering factors such as reputation, accreditation, equipment, and pricing, you can find a reliable MOT test centre that meets your needs. Additionally, preparing your vehicle for an MOT test can help you pass the test and avoid costly repairs. We hope this guide has been helpful in your search for a trusted MOT test centre in the UK.

Why Choose An Elite Garages MOT Centre?

Our easy to use online MOT booking system lets you book in 3 easy steps. Enter your vehicle registration number, choose a convenient slot to suit you and click to book. Or you can simply contact your nearest branch and we will find a slot to suit you.

As a family-owned business, every Elite Garages branch takes pride in what they do, looking after you and your car. We also stamp your service book as it would be at a dealership and we only use genuine parts. Book your MOT online and you can also sign up to be an Elite member to receive FREE MOT reminders.

FAQs on MOTs

Click the + to read any answer or visit our most FAQ page to review the most frequently asked questions across all our Elite Locations.

If you click on a ‘Category’ or ‘Tag’ link, the page will ‘refresh’ and reload the page showing the top of the page first, you’ll then just need to scroll down to the FAQ section to see the results for the Category or Tag you selected.

Category: MOT Centre

You can schedule an MOT test before the due date, but keep in mind that the new renewal date will be one year (minus one day) from the date the vehicle passed the test. For instance, if your MOT is due to expire on June 20, the earliest possible date to take the test would be May 21. However, if you take your vehicle for the test on May 19 and it passes, the new renewal date will be May 19 of the following year.

Category: MOT Centre

No, you have to get the MOT retest done by the garage that conducted the initial test. Even though you can repair your vehicle somewhere else, a different garage will charge you the complete fee for providing the pass certificate.

Category: MOT Centre

While there is a legal maximum price for MOTs, it may vary depending on the services a garage offer and any special discounts, not to mention different hourly rates so some may charge less. The most any garage can ask for a car is £54.85, £29.65 for a motorcycle (up to 200cc and over 200cc), and £58.60 for vans up to 3,500kg.