Home Business NewsBusinessAutomotive News Huge spike in DIY MOT and service searches as drivers look to save amid cost of living crisis

Huge spike in DIY MOT and service searches as drivers look to save amid cost of living crisis

by LLB Finance Reporter
8th Dec 23 5:34 am

While an unavoidable part of owning a car, for many getting their car MOTd can bring a collective sense of dread as motorists risk shelling out for costly repairs and services to ensure their car passes the annual check and stays in good working order.  

As a result, many people are turning to search engines to find out if MOT-ing their own car is a possibility, potentially in a bid to keep costs from spiralling.

The motoring experts at Scrap Car Comparison have revealed that there has been a 64% increase in searches on Google for whether you can MOT your own car, compared to last year. 

Searches for DIY services have also seen a surge, with ‘how to service your own car’ seeing a 22% increase year on year as people try to tighten their purse strings and carry out the costly maintenance themselves at home.   

Tax deductions: Keep more of your money

However, motorists looking to undertake a DIY MOT could be putting themselves at risk of being fined up to £2,500 if they don’t take their car to an approved MOT centre or continue driving their car without a certificate. 

To keep motorists in the know when it comes to their MOTs, Scrap Car Comparison has provided their advice for those looking to save money on maintaining their cars. 

Can you do your own MOT? 

Despite the increase in searches to do so, you can only undertake a valid MOT on a vehicle if you work at an approved MOT test centre.  

According to the Gov.uk website, “all MOT tests and retests must be conducted within authorised vehicle testing stations by nominated testers approved to test the class of vehicle by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.” 

Crucially, when drivers undertake their own MOT without a trained professional, they will not be able to obtain a valid MOT certificate. Should motorists be found to be driving without one, and the vehicle is found to have ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ problems, drivers will not be allowed to get back on the roads until these issues have been fixed. Motorists will also be given a ‘refusal of an MOT test certificate’ which is recorded in the MOT database. 

As a result, fines of up to £2,500 could be issued, and drivers could even receive three points on their license, if they are found to be without a valid MOT certificate and still using the car.  

While drivers may think that doing the motoring test themselves may save them some money, government-imposed maximum fees on the checks prevent costs from rising too high for the test itself. 

David Kottuan, Operations Manager at Scrap Car Comparison explains: “Carrying out your own MOT to save some extra pennies may not lead to the savings you think, as legally the maximum fee for a car MOT is £54.85 – so you wouldn’t save much by doing it yourself, or even by shopping around.  

“Your car service and repairs as a result of failing an MOT is where the costs can really creep up, as well as paying for a retest charge for the MOT, should you need it. 

“While doing your own car service could help you to save money at the garage, you must have some prior knowledge to carry one out effectively, as damaging your car through an incorrect or negligent service could invalidate your car warranty or insurance policy 

“Therefore, it’s recommended to have your car serviced routinely by a professional and carry out pre-MOT checks yourself to keep your car in working order, potentially decreasing the cost of repairs that you may need a qualified mechanic to undertake.” 

Pre-MOT checks you can do yourself 

Kottuan continues:While you may be unable to carry out your own MOT, or not feel confident enough for a DIY car service, there are some simple checks you can carry out prior to your MOT that could ensure you don’t need costly repairs or lead to an unexpected failure. 

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