Ipswich Car MOT Advice – What Are Your Rights?

IF you end up missing your MOT due date you could be liable for a staggering £1,000 fin as well as invalidating your current car insurance cover

What’s an MOT Certificate?

The MOT is a test to make sure your car, motorbike or commercial vehicle meets legal UK safety standards. Drivers should organise an MOT test with a qualified mechanic before their current certificate runs out.

The cost of  your MOT costs will depend on the type and size of vehicle you drive. Different companies charge different prices. For example, full price is charged in rural areas because there is less competition where as sometimes deceptively good deals are charged in towns and cities. See our article on too good to be true MOT prices.  MOT costs are capped at £55 though so you should never pay more than this for the actual test.

The MOT test mechanic will carry out anumber of tests and check that the lights, steering, suspension, windscreen, horn, seat belts, tyres and brakes are all in good acceptable working order as per the safety standards of UK roads. The MOT tester will also check your car’s fuel system and emission releases.

can I check my MOT due date?

Many lose track of their MOT date but relax,  it’s really easy to check. Just visit the gov.uk website and enter your vehicle’s make and registration number. The AA also offer a similar online portal called Automyze to check the due date, as well as providing a list of nearby MOT services stations.

You can get your MOT test up to a month, minus one day, before it runs out. This is to maintain the same renewal date. Owners lucky enough to have a brand new cars don’t have to get an MOT test until the third year of its registration. Beyond that, they have to get your vehicle tested every 12 months.

Is it legal to drive my car if my MOT certificate has expired?

When your MOT certificate has expired, you’re ONLY allowed to drive your car to an MOT test centre and then home again. If you get pulled over by the police, you will then need to be able to prove that you do have a pre-booked MOT appointment with a garage

What happens if my car fails its MOT?

If your car fails its MOT test, you will be issued a an MOT test refusal certificate. If your certificate has expired, you will no longer be able to drive your car, unless you are taking it to a garage to have the MOT failure issues resolved for retest. However, if you still have a couple of weeks until it expires, you can drive during this time. After you have had  the defects rectified, you will need to return to the garage for a retest.

Remember though, it can end up costing you £2,500 in fines, get banned from driving and get three penalty points for driving a car deemed to be in a dangerous condition.

Can I drive if I lose my MOT certificate?

You can apply for a replacement certificate with any MOT centre. Also, this doesn’t have to be the garage where the initial MOT test was completed. Just ring the centre up and give them your number plate details. Generally there will be charged between £10 or half the MOT test fee for a replacement.

MOT Mechanic Discovers Snake During Test!

Hardeep Varaich was busily conducting an MOT at his Bilston garage when the snake made a surprising entry into the test and we don’t mean a serpentine belt!

The MOT mechanic said he jacked up the car, and then spotted the large reptile (thought to be a yellow rat snake) coiled around the vehicle’s frame.

Hardeep, the owner of Auto Trust Centre Ltd, said: “I jacked the vehicle up in the air and there it was, wrapped around the body of the vehicle, pointing it’s face right towards me.

“It was at the back and hanging towards us and no one knew what to do with it.

Mr Varaich said he was not surprisingly far too scared to get close to the reptile so called on staff from nearby Morton Auto Tech Ltd to lend a hand.

A large hook was used to prise the 3ft snake from the Vauxhall Corsa before it was placed in a box at the Lord Street garage.

The reptile’s surprising arrival has left Mr Varaich and his team very puzzled, with no one able to tell them how the snake found it’s way into the corsa.

Hardeep, went on to say the owner of the car is also baffled about where the reptile came from.

The shocked MOT mechanic added: “It’s not everyday you see a snake. It was a big shock, I’m scared of spiders, never mind finding a snake.

The customer was just as shocked as they were and they also could not come up with any reason for the snake being there.

“We’ve never had anything like this happen before.”

The garage team have been unable to rehome the snake but are hoping a caring animal lover will take the reptile off their hands and give it sanctuary.

Hardeep ventured: “We just want it out of here and somewhere safe.”

A Midlands Safari Park spokesman said the picture looked to be of a yellow rat snake. They are non-venomous but can grow up to 10ft long.

General Motors to use sustainable natural rubber tyres

US-based GM, producer of popular brands such as Cadillac, Chevrolet and Vauxhall in countries across the globe, pledges to work with tyre suppliers, governments, rubber industry associations and NGOs to reduce the complexity within the tyre supply chain.

The motoring giant hopes this move will preserve primary forests, improve yields and quality for natural rubber farmers and mitigate business risk related to supply chain sourcing performance.

“Our supplier partners are an extension of our company,” said GM senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain Steve Kiefer. “We want to encourage affordable, safer and cleaner options for our customers that drive value to both our organization and the communities in which we work.”

With over 32 million tonnes of material being used each year by the tyre industry, and three-quarters of this comprising of fossil origin, it will be crucial for the sector to source sustainable products and ensure that tyres are recycled at the end of their life cycle.

Recently GM revealed to EDIE how recycling and remanufacturing has already generated a further $1bn in revenue to the company’s bottom line. The carmaking giant, which has also pledged to source 100% of electricity from renewables before 2050, is now ensuring that 95% of its near 10,000 auto parts used throughout its vehicle portfolio are recyclable wherever possible

This decision to source sustainable natural rubber should prompt other car manufacturers and suppliers to join in the effort to accelerate progress, GM has said. The company aims to develop transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain by working alongside suppliers such as Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin.

The latter hit the headlines last month after its energy-saving tyres were shown to be 1.19% more fuel efficient than other premium brands. These findings were generated by a year-long trial, which saw Michelin provide ‘regional’ tread pattern tyres for Ginsters Cornish Pasty brand owner, Samworth Brothers.

Also making news is global outdoor-wear company Timberland and tyre manufacturer and distributor Omni United by teaming up to produce a line of tyres intended to be recycled into footwear out-soles once finished with on the road.

MOT Overdue? You’re Not Alone…

March is a peak month for MOT tests and a new study for Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair chain, has revealed that over four million drivers freely admit that they have not got their car MOT test completed before the previous one expired.

Ipswich late MOT
Ipswich MOT customers should make sure that they are aware of the date that their MOT certificate expires.

When asked the average length of time these motorists have driven without a valid MOT is around 37 days. Nearly a third of those missing their MOT deadline got a valid certificate within three days but 4% of those driving without an MOT did so for more than ten months.

March 2017 will see nearly half a million cars require their first MOT.

2016 saw March as the month with the highest number of new registrations with over 500,000 cars hitting the road for the first time, and with those cars now turning three years old, they need an MOT for the first time.

Kwik Fit advises drivers with a “17” registration plate to be sure to check their date of first registration.

The company’s research shows that people missing the third year anniversary is in the top ten reasons given by drivers for not having an upto date MOT certificate. Another very common reason stated is that they failed to get an MOT appointment in time. Drivers are able to put their car through the MOT up to one month before their current certificate runs out while still keeping the same expiry date for the following year. This sort of flexibility should allow ample time and convenience to arrange the test.

Londoners have the most casual attitude to the MOT certificate, with nearly one quarters of drivers admitting to have driven their car without an upto date MOT certificate.

The survey by Kwik Fit found that London motorists who have not obtained an upto date MOT certificate drive for nearly three months on average before doing so. Conversely, drivers in the South West are the quickest to spot their mistake, with the average time driving without an MOT in that region just over 5 days.

“Our research showed that drivers give many different reasons for not getting their car MOTed but the most common seems to be simply forgetfulness”, said a Kwik Fit representative

“The most worrying are those who knew their car would fail the test and so drove it until they got it fixed. But there are also those who felt that their car was safe and didn’t need the MOT to prove it.The test is a crucial element in keeping our roads safe and can spot issues that might not be obvious to us in our day to day driving but could be significant in an emergency.”

The fines involved for not obtaining a valid MOT certificate far outweigh any short term saving by delaying the inevitable need for an MOT.

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