What is the Difference Between a Car MOT and Service?
As a car owner, you have to maintain the regular MOT check-ups required by law, and also keep your car in a roadworthy condition. Like any other machine, your car also goes through wear and tear and demands maintenance and repair. Whether it is a simple tyre change or a whole suspension replacement, servicing seems like an important part of your vehicles and its passengers overall health.
Apart from that, maintaining and repairing your car also enhances its life gives you a better resale value and keeps you away from the clutches of the cops. Even your insurance is dependent on how well you treat your car. When you think about the many aspects of owning a car, it is bound to create confusion between different services, MOT, and much more. In this article, we are answering the question – What’s the difference between MOT and service?
Starting with the basics, let’s have a look at what exactly is MOT.
What is MOT?
An MOT, also known as the Ministry of Transport test, is an annual check required by law, which helps to gauge the roadworthiness of your car and to ensure it is within the minimum required limit stated by the UK government. This is not just for cars, but also for bikes, vans, busses, and any other road transport. The idea is to keep the roads as safe as possible, by ensuring that every car has the basic parts working.
MOT test entails an extensive check of internal and external parts, making sure they are all functioning as per the standard level. The checklist is set by the DVSA and is curated to determine whether your car can be on the road, safely.
You’re required to get an MOT certificate once you are near the third anniversary, and after that, it is an annual check-up which has to be done before the expiry date of the approved MOT certificate. The Government caps the test at £54.85 excluding VAT, so make sure you’re not paying more than this.
| Also Read: MOT Rules And Extensions During Coronavirus (COVID-19) |
So what happens when you’re not able to produce a valid MOT certificate when stopped by the police?
One, you can receive a fine up to £1,000 unless you’re driving to the car service centre and can prove this. Furthermore, your car insurance is also invalid when you don’t have a valid MOT. This could lead to getting fine and points on your license. An expired MOT does not work when you want to renew your road tax.
You have to remember that MOT entails a long list of checks, but does not repair or replace any parts or areas. It is just checking whether a part is working at its minimum required level.
These are the areas a mechanic will check during an MOT:
- Vehicle identification number
- Registration plate
- Wipers and washer bottle
- Steering and suspension
- Seats & Seat belts
- Fuel system
- Wheels and tyres
If you pass an MOT, this does not guarantee another year of no service or repair. Since an MOT checks the basic parts and judges them on the most minimum working standard, you will still be required to service them, take care of them, and if needed, replace them.
Let’s go onto the other part, What is Car Service?
What is Car Service?
Car service entails maintenance and repair work which is not designated by law. This is done by your choice, and on your time. For example, if your engine heats up quickly, and you’re unable to figure it out, you will need to bring your car to a service centre for their guidance, advice, and repair.
MOT and service seem very similar, as they both look after the different parts of the car. But service does more in-depth and carries out replacement and repair of many parts, topping up of car fluids, etc. This helps to improve vehicle performance and tackle the issue before it becomes life-threatening.
Car Service of many types, and you can base this on your own judgement, or of your trusted mechanics. There are no legal requirements here, except to keep your car in a roadworthy condition. You may go to the service centre only when you encounter a problem or have some driving issue that does not seem to be solved. The service and checks will depend on the garage that carries it out.
A car service is of many types which include interim car service, a major car service, or full car service. These services are decided on the number of miles your car has run or the duration passed between the checks. You can also opt for many branded car services from independent garages or franchises. It all depends on the budget, the offers, and of course, the work of the car service centres.
What’s the difference between MOT and service?
Many people believe that if they have passed their MOT test, they need not go to a service centre and spend additional bucks. This is a dangerous assumption. Firstly, MOT checks only the basic parts of your car and does not do an in-depth analysis. Since a car is a complicated machine with intricate parts, a passed MOT test does not declare your independence from servicing your car.
Secondly, MOT is the most minimal form of check applied to make sure your car is not dangerous. If your engine oil was at above the minimum level, the car MOT will be passed. But that does not ensure that it is above the required level two months after the MOT. For this, you would have to check it and decide.
An MOT will check your car and if it has issues like a clogged air filter or a low tyre pressure, it will simply fail you. To pass the MOT, you will then have to service your car and avail the valid MOT.
MOT and servicing are both an important part of keeping your car in good shape and health. One cannot compensate for the other, and as a vehicle owner, you should opt for both. A great option is to opt for a servicing package that comes with a free MOT. You can then fix your car and keep it in the best of the condition while availing a free MOT. Check out Acton Service Centre for such offers.
Hope this was enough to explain what’s the difference between MOT and Service? For any other queries, feel free to drop it in the comment section below!