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Average Cost of an MOT 2020

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Table of Contents

How Much is an MOT?

According to our survey of two dozen MOT centres, the average cost of a car MOT is £34.65 in the UK. The cheapest MOT deal we saw was £15 and the highest MOT price was £54.85. Government regulations limit the amount a service centre can charge for an MOT—the maximum fee that an MOT centre can charge for a car (e.g., a Class 4 vehicle) is £54.85 and the most you'll pay for a standard motorcycle MOT is £29.65.

Average MOT Cost UKMaximum MOT CostAverage MOT Cost
Car£54.85£34.65
Motorcycle£29.65n/a
chart showing the average cost of an MOT test
Here's how much you'll pay for a car MOT

Cost of a MOT Retest

According to the Gov.uk website, you may not need to pay anything for a retest if your car failed its MOT.

Leaving your car at the test centre: There’s no retest fee if you leave your car for repair at the test centre and it’s retested within 10 working days.

Taking your car back the next working day: If you drive away, get your car fixed and take it back to the same test centre before the end of the next working day you can get a partial retest for free for the following issues:

  • access panels
  • battery
  • bonnet
  • bootlid
  • brake pedal antislip
  • break glass hammer (class 5 vehicles)
  • doors (incl. hinges, catches and pillars)
  • door open warning device (class 5 vehicles)
  • dropsides
  • electrical wiring
  • emergency exits and signs (class 5 vehicles)
  • entrance door remote control (class 5 vehicles)
  • entrance/exit steps (class 5 vehicles)
  • fuel filler cap
  • headlamp cleaning or levelling devices (with no headlamp aim check)
  • horn
  • lamps (excl. headlamp aim)
  • loading door
  • main beam ‘tell-tale’
  • mirrors
  • rear reflectors
  • registration plates
  • seatbelts, seatbelt load limiter and seatbelt pre-tensioner (not anchorages)
  • seats
  • sharp edges or projections
  • stairs (class 5 vehicles)
  • steering wheel
  • tailboard
  • tailgate
  • trailer electrical sockets
  • towbars (excl. body around anchorage points)
  • tyre pressure monitoring system
  • vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • windscreen glass, wipers and washers
  • wheels and tyres (excl. motorbikes)

Taking your car back for a retest within 10 working days: You can be charged a partial retest fee if you drive your vehicle away, get it repaired, and return to the test centre for a retest within 10 working days.

Odds Your Car Will Fail the MOT

31.4% of vehicles initially fail the MOT test. Many of the initial reasons for failing the MOT are due to minor defects that can be fixed at the time of the test, such as a burnt-out bulb. After these minor defects are fixed, the MOT failure rate drop to 25.8% of vehicles. Motorcycles have the best pass rates.

MOT Failure RatesInitial fail rateFinal fail rate
Classes 1 & 2: Motorcycles16.8%9.9%
Classes 3 & 4: Cars, vans (up to 12 seats)31.7%24.6%
Class 5: Private passenger (more than 12 seats)28.4%23.4%
Class 7: Goods vehicles (3,000 and 3,500 kg gross weight)40.6%32.7%
Total31.4%24.3%
chart showing the average MOT fail rates
How likely is your car to fail the MOT?

Most Common Reasons for Car and Motorcycle MOT Failure

The number 1 reason that cars and motorcycles fail an MOT is Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment, which together account for 27% of car defects and 39% of motorcycles defects on failed tests. Brakes, suspension and tyres are next most troublesome for cars, accounting for another 46.5% of failed defects; for motorcycles, brakes, body/chassis/structure, suspension and tyres are the next most common faults accounting for 47.7% of defects.

In the table and chart below, you can see which defects are the most and least common when cars and motorcycles fail an MOT.

Biggest Reasons for MOT FailureCarMotorcycle
Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment27.0%39.2%
Suspension18.1%9.6%
Brakes16.8%17.4%
Tyres11.6%9.5%
Visibility8.0%n/a
Body, chassis, structure6.8%11.2%
Noise, emissions and leaks5.6%n/a
Steering2.9%5.9%
Seat belts and supplementary restraint systems1.9%n/a
Identification of the vehicle0.7%3.5%
Motorcycle audible warning (Horn)n/a2.8%
Road Wheels0.6%1.0%

You can check the specific fail codes for these categories in our article on MOT Fail Codes if you'd like for information on the specific defects that can cause a fail in each of these categories.

chart showing reasons for a car and motorcycles failing an MOT test
Here's why most MOTs fail

The good news about this data is that, it's relatively easy to pre-check your car before the MOT and possibly make minor repairs yourself if you're so inclined. In terms of tyres, your car should have at least 1.6mm of tread throughout a continuous band in the centre 3/4 of the tyre (around the whole tyre). If you find an indicator is out or a brake light isn't illuminating, you may find that simply replacing the bulb can fix the problem so you pass your next MOT test.

By checking your car's lights, indicator signals and tyres you may be able to save money on potential repairs and preempt a failed MOT.

Should You Get the Cheapest MOT?

A cheap MOT may cost you more in the long run, through higher repair bills to fix any failed MOT defects. By offering a below-market MOT price a test centre may lose money that they'll need to make up elsewhere in order to stay in business. If your vehicle fails the MOT, these test centres may charge a higher markup on parts and/or more for labour for any repairs they suggest.

Why should this matter to you? Because 35% of cars fail their MOT test, which means 35% of car owners will subsequently pay for the required repairs to their car if they want to keep driving.

So it's not just the price of an MOT that matters—you also need to keep in mind the cost of car repairs, as these can significantly add to the amount you spend on running costs for your car each year. Before booking an MOT you might want to check the cost of repairing the most common MOT failures with your test centre.

FAQs

The average car MOT costs £34.65 in the UK, but prices range from £15 to £52.
It's often possible to find a cheaper MOT if you combine the MOT with a service. If you can get your services and MOT on the same schedule, this can potentially save you money in the long run.
You can move your MOT date by having your next MOT at any point during the year before your next MOT date of expiry. If, for instance, you want to align your MOT and service dates, you can always schedule your next MOT early.

Source

Cheap Car Insurance in Your Area

Quickly compare nearly 100 UK insurance providers.

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