In the UK, getting an MOT is a legal requirement. Because of this, many people are concerned about how much an MOT might cost them - especially if they need repair work on their vehicle. It’s important to have a good understanding of how much an MOT and repair work could cost you as this can give you real peace of mind.
In this guide, we’ll cover what the MOT prices in the UK are and how much you can expect to pay on average. We’re also going to bring you some info on what’s covered on an MOT, as well as the prices of common repair work following an MOT.
In the UK, the Government have set a cap on the price of an MOT. For a car with up to 8 passenger seats, this price is currently £54.85. For a motorbike, the cost is currently £29.65, and for vans up to 3,500kg the maximum price is £58.60.
Remember that this is a cap on the maximum price of an MOT in the UK - it’s not always how much you’ll pay. Many garages offer MOTs that are substantially cheaper than this, especially if you get an MOT alongside a vehicle service or other work.
The other important factor when it comes to the price of an MOT will, of course, be how much extra work is required on your vehicle. It’s hard to predict this, unless you’re a mechanic yourself, so the best thing you can do is have a good understand of how much likely work could cost - we cover this later in this guide.
An MOT is an annual test that your vehicle has to have to demonstrate that it’s safe to drive on the roads in the UK. It’s a legal requirement to have one on most cars, unless they’re brand new, and you have to get it done every year.
While the MOT is often done alongside a vehicle service, this isn’t legally required. An MOT only checks a limited number of things that are deemed to be essential to a vehicle being roadworthy and not dangerous to drive. A vehicle service checks a number of further things on a vehicle that are designed to make the drive more comfortable or make the vehicle run better.
You’re required to have an MOT test on your vehicle every year. Most vehicles under 3 years old don’t need an MOT until the 3rd anniversary of their registration. Following this, all vehicles will need to have an MOT test every year.
The Government provide a service where you can put your vehicle’s registration number in and check the MOT status of your vehicle, if you’ve forgotten when you last had an MOT, or need to check when your vehicle needs to have one. You can access that service here.
An MOT only checks items on your vehicle that are deemed to be a part of its roadworthiness or safety to drive. This means that things like climate control, radios and entertainment systems aren’t included. However, just because your vehicle has passed an MOT, this doesn’t mean that nothing can mechanically go wrong on it - a number of common failure items like cambelts, water pumps and even oil changes aren’t covered by an MOT, and are only checked on a service.
The items checked on an MOT are split out into four categories.
In this section, the tester will check safety items in the interior cabin of the vehicle. This includes items like:
Seats and seat belts
Warning lights on the dashboard
Ensuring the view from the windscreen is adequate and not obscured by cracks
The steering wheel operates properly
The doors and mirrors are in good working order
Exterior checks of the vehicle cover things like:
Registration plates are legible and readable
All exterior lights function properly
Wheels and tyres have enough tread and are properly fitted
Ensuring wiper blades function correctly
Exterior condition of doors, boot lid and bonnet - all latches function
The general condition of the body - serious body damage to a vehicle can cause an MOT failure, but minor scuffs and dents are fine
The technician will also inspect the engine and underbody of the vehicle, inspecting a range of systems including:
Vehicle structure and underbody for rust and condition
Braking systems, including wear of brake pads and discs
Exhaust systems - this includes an emissions check
Suspension components and shock absorbers
Wheel bearings and linkages
General vehicle condition
Of course, unless you’re a mechanic yourself, it’s difficult to inspect your entire vehicle to be sure that it will pass its MOT. However, there are a few things that you can check before you put your vehicle in for its MOT to give it the best chance of passing. You don’t need tons of mechanical knowledge to check these things, either - they’re quick checks that you can do to know ahead of time if your vehicle has any issues.
Firstly, check all of your vehicle’s bulbs, including brake lights, fog lights, reversing lights and high beams. If any of these are not working, get them changed before your MOT. Make sure that your wiper blades are working properly, and if you think they’re not properly clearing water from your windscreen, replace these as well.
Make sure there are no check engine or other warning lights on your dashboard. If you have a sizeable crack on your windscreen within the area that the wiper clears, it may be worth getting your windscreen replaced, too - speak to a windscreen replacement company about this. It’s also worth getting your vehicle washed before its MOT, as things as simple as a dirty numberplate can cause your car to fail its MOT.
Of course, the price of the MOT is also likely to include the costs of some remedial work. While this will depend on the condition of your vehicle, we have included some examples of rough prices for common issues that cause an MOT fail below.
If you need to replace bulbs on your vehicles, expect to pay between £5 and £10 per bulb, plus a small extra charge for fitting. For wiper blades, expect to pay around £10 to £30 per blade, again plus a small charge to fit the part.
Tyres are another common failure item. The price of a tyre will depend on the type that you choose, but you should expect to pay around £60 per tyre for budget options, with premium tyres ranging from £80 to £120 per tyre. If your vehicle using low profile tyres or an unusual rim size, this can increase significantly, up to around £200-£300 per tyre.
Brake pads and discs will also occasionally need to be replaced, and this is often picked up on an MOT. These are generally replaced together and as a pair, so expect to pay between £200 and £400 to replace each pair of pads and discs.
|Replacement exhaust cost to supply and fit||£180|
|Cost to replace brake pads and discs||£430|
|Clutch replacement cost||£850|
|Full annual car service cost||£240|