If you are a new driver, understanding your obligations when it comes to your car is important. Knowing the difference between an MOT and a service is helpful.
The rules of the road
There are a few rules you must follow when it comes to driving. In terms of being a driver, you must have a valid driving licence, be of legal driving age, and meet the minimum eyesight rules.
Your car must meet some minimum requirements as well. The first is that it must be registered with the DVLA. You must also keep your vehicle tax up to date, keep your car roadworthy, and be insured properly. A valid MOT certificate is also required.
What is an MOT?
Once your car reaches three years old it is required by law to pass an MOT test annually to be allowed on the road. An MOT test is a thorough inspection and test of your car from the brakes to the wipers to the fuel system. It is worth remembering that this test will not check the condition of the engine, gearbox or clutch.
An average MOT test typically takes between 45 and 60 minutes, however if there are repairs that need doing it will take longer as a test centre isn’t allowed to let you leave with a car that has failed its MOT as it is deemed unroadworthy. As for cost, the maximum a test centre can charge for a car or motor caravan is £54.85 and £29.65 for motorbikes.
What is a service?
A regular car service checks the condition of your car. This is different from an MOT as the MOT checks whether your car is roadworthy or not.
A service will include things such as checking and changing your oil, testing your battery condition and ensuring your engine is in great condition. Whereas the MOT test checks for roadworthiness, a service keeps your car running to the best of its ability. The exact checks in a service will vary depending on the model of your car.
A service is more expensive than an MOT, with the average cost being £125 but this doesn’t include any repairs that may need to be done. You may be able to find a place that does offer this slightly cheaper. For example, searching for Citroen service near me will bring up every local garage that can accommodate you.
A service is beneficial as it can often find issues at the early stages so repairing them can work out cheaper in the long run.
Can you get both at once?
Some garages do offer a combined MOT and service and that usually does end up working out cheaper. Talk to your mechanic about the best way to fit these both in.