Half price MOT roulette

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  • Half price MOT roulette
  • I generally think that cheap/free MOT tests are designed to get you in the door for a good old wallet raping at the end of the test. Take it somewhere that does not need the work. My local MOT station has failed 2 of my cars in 15 years and that is averaging 2 cars a year.


    I’m going with new pads and discs, tyres and some suspension components – even though they’re prob all fine!


    I’ve been using a Halfords autocentre for cheap MOTs for a couple of years now and to be fair to them they’ve been pretty good. They always ask when it was last serviced (even if they did it) but rarely try to upsell. They did mention the cam belt would need changing on her Touran, but this was 2 years and it did (still does!).

    IIRC you’re near me OP, I use the one in Vulcan Way (Sandhurst).

    Ok, so for the 3rd year in a row I’ve dropped off the “car so dull I can’t think of a derisory name for and despite owning it for 3 years don’t have a single photo of it, so here’s a photo off the internet” for it’s annual half price MOT at halfords.

    Year 1) “better than half price MOT” at Halfords, failed as it has missmatched lights iluminating the rear number plate, they replaced them and they’re still not the same colour, this is the car’s one smidgen of “character”.

    Year 2) Kwickfit so badly wanted to fail it they demanded I come allong mid way through the working day and empty the boot for them so they could inspect the spare tyre (which was fine).

    Year 3) Droped it off this morning at a different halfords for it’s “not quite half price MOT”, guy at the desk asks “when was it last serviced”, so I’m now expecting* some upselling.

    I’d recomend C-max ownership to anyone, as long as the only excitement you’re after is Thatcher-esque understeer (the lady is not for turning) and gambling with cheep MOT’s.

    *According to the book, about 40,000miles ago, DIY’d it since then.

    I’m using the one behind the station in Wokingham.

    Yea, it’s clearly a loss leader by the garrage to get car’s through the door but IIRC the MOT tester is licened themselves by the MOT (or whoever) not the garrage, more than so many complaints, or too high a proportion of passes/fails and they get audited. So it’s their livelyhood at stake, not the garrage. So there’s a limit to what they can do to drive business to the garrage other than say XYZ needs attention and the front desk can quote for that work.

    Premier Icon geoffj

    I’d recomend C-max ownership to anyone, as long as the only excitement you’re after is Thatcher-esque understeer (the lady is not for turning) and gambling with cheep MOT’s.



    Had the other half’s’ Clio done on a half price Halfrauds MOT.
    Strangely enough, it failed on headlight alignment, which was fine the year before. Most places would just do it.
    To take it away would have been a £20 retest fee, or for a bargain £15 they would re-align.
    Captive audience, so got shafted for the £15.
    Asked on their feedback mail my thoughts; they were that once they are the only MOT station in a 40 mile radius I would return.
    Still waiting for a response.


    I’m luck, Kirkby Tyres in Sutton in Ashfield do mine and they have never charged a retest fee even when I’ve taken it back a week later.


    Small world Rockhopper!
    I’m from Mansfield and now use HiQ near Screwfix.
    £25 all in and no re-test.



    The usual guff, front tyres* and front pads** wearing.

    I’m starting to believe all the “halfrauds failed my car for only having 3 brakes and no exhaust” might actualy be written by people who can’t maintain a car.

    *They probbaly won’t make it to the next MOT, currently at about 3mm.

    **They are 70,000 miles old

    Premier Icon welshfarmer

    Spare wheel is not part of the test AFAIK


    “Criteria applies only to Tyres fitted to the road wheels only. The vehicle presenter should be informed when it is noticed that there is a defective tyre on a spare wheel.”

    wording from testers handbook.

    TINAS. i know how to maintain a car – we presented a vehicle for test – it failed on emissions and only emissions , it drove 6 miles to my house , was fitted with a new cat and post cat lambda.

    drove it back

    no free retest – paid for the full bifter again – whole new set of fails – all stuff i can guarantee you were fine when it left my house(and passed the first test 12 miles ago at the same test centre)…. brakes were significantly corroded and the usual bulb pish.

    funny how it got an instant pass when we presented the fail cert from the previous test.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I thought if present, it had to be in legal condition but if not present it’s fine? IANAMOTT

    Welshfarmer – Correct, but are you surprised it was Kwik-Fit who tried that one?

    Maybe they tested the emissions the first time, it failed, so they printed the certificate and went for a tea break?

    Most of it’s down to the testers oppinion, they’re not robots, in Kwikfit’s defence the year before I’d presented it with no rear seats (but spotlessly clean) and they’d passed it with a note that the rear seatbelts weren’t checked. The next year the car was absolutely filthy, so probably looked neglected and likely to be hiding faults so they were checking everything.


    Does that make it any better tinas . We paid for an mot test. Not an emissions test……

    Ive equally had cars go through mot at mom and pop shops , knowing full well it needed welding only for it to pass ….. Then bring it home and weld it up.

    Cooncil tester refused to test my mates van as in his words – it was pishing diesel. Turned out the return line had perished and the one way valve in The system was doing a good job of hiding the leak until it was running.

    Premier Icon cliffyc

    As mentioned above cheap price is to hook you in,then they look for anything they can sting you for. Kwik Fit have a really bad rep for this. I use a family owned garage,it’s £40 quid,if the odd bulb I might have missed, needs replacing it is done for me and they just charge for the part and re-test, free,no need to go back. Sorted.


    Rockhopper- small world I use Kirkby tyres as well but it’s in kirkby not Sutton 😛

    Premier Icon benji

    The fee structure is laid out by VOSA and is on a poster that has to be displayed at the test centre https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/205248/mot-test-fees-and-appeals-poster-vtpa.pdf

    The spare wheel is not part of the MOT test, never has been, it’s one of those urban myths. Just for instance you fill your boot with wheels and tyres, which one at this point is the spare, are they testable? No. It is only the wheels that are in contact with the floor that are on the vehicle when it is presented for test.

    Refusal for test can be interesting, vehicle chucking diesel out, is definitely a valid reason, boot full of kids toys is not.

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