When is the cheapest MOT not really the cheapest MOT? When a shameless garage owner charges you hundreds of pounds of unnecessary repairs.

Your last expensive MOT failure only feels like it was a few months ago, but the time has come again and you are hoping for a clean bill of health. You drive to the garage hoping and praying for a pass. But even though your pretty sure there’s nothing wrong with the car, your pretty sure that the garage will fail you.

We’ve all been there. And to save some money, it can be tempting to take your car to a budget MOT shop. They advertise widely and offer a full-service MOT at a price that is unbelievably cheap. Sometimes the prices are less than half the price of other garages in the area.

But this kind of testing is often a false economy.

A cheaper price encourages more cars through the door, but if there are any faults with the car you are almost guaranteed to get the repairs done with that garage. The maximum charge for an MOT is £54.85, so the repairs are nearly always more expensive than the test.

Some unscrupulous garages may be motivated to find faults where there are none. They may interpret borderline decisions as fails, or blow minor errors out of proportion and perform costly part replacements when a simple repair would more than suffice.

Even on cars that are less than five years old, some ‘cheap’ garages will go to great lengths, interpreting guidelines in the strictest possible way to charge you a bit extra.

It isn’t just local cowboy garages either that offer dubious rock-bottom prices either. Some national garage chains offer these kinds of bargain basement prices too.

At Duffy Motors, we like to operate differently. Our business is built on trust and return customers. We always try to treat customers fairly and our reviews on the Good Garage Scheme are testament to our ideology.

More ways to make your MOT cheaper

Besides choosing the right garage, there are some basic things that you can do to make your MOT cheaper.

Check your lights

One in five MOT failures are due to a broken light. Make sure you check your brake lights, head lights and indicators before going for a test. If any are broken, then changing them yourself before the MOT should save you some money on labour.

Check your tyres

Checking your tyre pressure is another way of averting an easily preventable MOT failure. A garage shouldn’t charge you too much for inflating your tyres, but you never know.

Check reviews

Saving £20 on the cost of your MOT might sound like a good deal, but it is small fry if the garage charges you hundreds of pounds for unnecessary repair work. One way to avoid getting stuck with a cowboy garage is to check online reviews and see what the garage’s customers have to say.

Chat to an expert

When it comes to MOTs and car repairs, the picture isn’t always black and white. Your car may pass its MOT just marginally, but some parts may be on the cusp of failing and could necessitate more serious repairs in the future if they aren’t sorted out now.

At Duffy Motors, we always take the time to talk to our customers, give them an honest appraisal of their options and make recommendations based on all the relevant information.

If you aren’t sure, just give us a call and we may be able to offer some advice over the phone.