Caution: When is an MOT too cheap?

Cheap Ipswich MOT Caution

Are MOTs below £30 too cheap?

Cheap MOT deals are common but it’s worth remember that the UK Government has a set uk price of £54.85 for MOTs for good reason. It’s an optimum price when all things like labour, profit and the time taken is considered.

cheap-mot-ipswichMost if not all main dealers will charge this price and garages in rural areas with little to no competition will stick with this price unless there is a big sign outside showing a different price to encourage business. Main dealers often do the MOT with the free service period included with the car but more importantly they don’t need to compete as it’s not a key part of their business as they sell cars, a very profitable core business. Rural garages do not need to compete with multiple rival establishments so they stick with the optimum price that allows for fair profit and their mechanics to be paid what they deserve to as skilled operatives.

These £25 deals may seem like an offer way too good to miss but there is more to it than meets the eye.

The time taken to complete an MOT test thoroughly and diligently is around 45 minutes to 1 hour. A sound mechanic with a VOSA certificated ability to complete MOT certificates will be paid £20 – £35 per hour for his time in employment. A business premises costs around £10,000 per year and then you have £3000 of business insurance per year, council tax of £1500, electricity and employee pensions. All those things considered it’s foreseeable that a garage will lose money on an MOT if no work is completed.

Garages have two revenue streams, labour costs and the money made from parts used which carry a 10-20% profit margin when purchased on a trade account. Because garages are businesses it’s sensible and reasonable to believe that they will approach any and all transactions with the intention of making a profit, how could they not in fact?

This is where the £25 MOT suddenly becomes a poisoned chalice. There are times in an MOT test where a garage will be faced with a decision on a worn but not a failing part. Do they advise to change that tyre or pass it through because technically it could go for 3-4 months before being within the fail area? To put it a better way, do they choose to make profit on that customers MOT which took up space in their garage unit for an allocated time instead of another more profitable job or do they choose to lose money? Are you getting the picture?

It’s prudent as a car owner to be cautious of these as they fall into this non-profit area and while it’s a carrot to bring in extra customers a garage is still a business and unless they approach transactions with the mind that profit must be made then they are going out of business.

One way to combat this is to take the loss from the garages hands, save money on labour and reach a mutually beneficial deal by capitalising on a far safer MOT + Service deal. Many of the areas of analysis involved with the MOT will be things to check on the service. This saves time, puts a garage in profit, saves you money and eradicates the need for a garage to make up the loss on the too good to be true price.

To summarise, if an MOT is lower than £30 then the garage is making a loss and will likely look to make up that profit elsewhere and often at a cost far higher than if you were to spend a little more to get an honest MOT at a fair price.

Book an honest fair priced MOT with Safeway Tyre & Exhaust. Call 01473 240840 Today

Our MOT Price is £35 which allows for a good deal on both sides. Listed below are our two deals available to get your MOT and services completed on the same visit at a discount.

Ipswich Express Service + MOT Deal

From £80

  • Oil change
  • Oil filter change
  • 360 brake check

Ipswich Comprehensive Service + MOT Deal

From £140

  • Oil change
  • Oil filter change
  • Air filter if needed
  • Pollen filter if needed
  • Spark plugs if needed
  • 360 brake check
  • Steering check
  • Shock absorber check