Car ownership can be an expensive business. And we’re not just talking about fuel and other running costs like insurance or tyres. One of the biggest annual costs can be the MOT test, and repairs for any defects which are detected along the way. Some cost is unavoidable. But shop smart the next time your car needs a MOT and you could spend a lot less than you might imagine. MOT Fees – not set in stone There is a huge misconception that the fee set by the government for a MOT test is the standard fee across the board. That’s not the case. The fee listed by the government is a maximum fee only. Garages are free to charge whatever they like, up to the maximum. This gives garages the opportunity to discount less popular MOT slots, or offer cheap MOTs when people book a service or order new tyres at the same time. If you can be flexible about when and where you get your MOT done, you could secure a much lower fee. Know Your Rights Most of the cost of an MOT is the cost of having any repairs done, not the test itself. So know your rights when it comes to having your car fixed. If your car fails on a major fault, then you don’t have to agree to have it fixed by the testing garage. You would drive it away, assuming the previous MOT is still in date, and get someone else to fix it. Take it back to the same testing station within 10 working days, and you’ll be able to get a partial retest at a reduced, or free rate. You can get car maintenance tips and tricks from google play store. If however your car fails on a fault marked as dangerous, you can’t drive it away and the easiest option is to have it fixed on site. Don’t be bullied into work by a garage employee using pressure selling techniques. Remember also that minor faults or advisories are just that. They are not components which need fixed right away. Another option is to use a Council run testing station. The advantage of these places is that they don’t do repairs, so have no vested interest in finding fault with your car. Lots of drivers feel that an impartial service is worth paying a bit more for. The downside is that if your car does fail, then you have to shop around again to find someone to fix it for you. Timing of the MOT You also have some flexibility over the timing of your MOT, which you can use to your advantage when booking a test slot. If your MOT runs out, for example, at the end of July 2019, you can have it tested any time in July and the validity of the MOT will be added to end of the current period, so to the end of July 2020. Having this flexibility over when you get your MOT done means you don’t have to be rushed into a decision and a last-minute booking the day before the current certificate runs out.