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Is an MOT the same as a service?

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Is an MOT the same as a service?

An MOT is not the same as a service, they are two completely separate car inspection methods, with different uses and requirements. It is a common misconception that an MOT and a service are the same, and research states that 59% of people in the UK don’t understand what is included for either one. Read on to feel more informed about what the differences between an MOT and a service are the next time your car needs an inspection. 

What is an MOT?

An MOT is an annual test of roadworthiness, vehicle safety and exhaust emissions – this test is a legal requirement in the UK for all vehicles over three years old. MOTs can only be carried out by trained and certified testers, who determine whether your vehicle passes or fails according to Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) guidelines. You can probably just go to your local car repair garage for the test, as many mechanics are authorised testers. 

MOT test checks:

  • Vehicle body and structure
  • Fuel
  • Seats and seat belts
  • Tyres and wheels
  • Doors 
  • Steering and horn
  • Mirrors
  • Number plate and lights
  • Brakes
  • Windscreen and bonnet catch
  • Emissions and exhaust
  • Suspension

If your vehicle does not pass its MOT test, your mechanic will provide a list of the necessary repairs which you have 10 days to complete before taking an MOT retest. When your vehicle has failed an MOT test it is illegal to drive on public roads except if you are driving to or from the test, or you are on the way to get repairs in preparation for your MOT retest. 

Once you pass the test you will receive a VT20 test certificate. This document does not guarantee the road safety of your vehicle at the time of sale – as the condition could have changed. Even if your vehicle is majorly damaged right after an MOT you are not required to get a new test, but driving a dangerous car is still illegal.

What is a service?

A service refers to when you take your vehicle for a health check, it is voluntary, unlike an MOT, and involves the mechanic carrying out routine maintenance work on the car. Regularly taking your car for a service improves fuel efficiency and the running of the engine, and ensures your car remains roadworthy and safe – it is an important part of maintaining your vehicle. 

Motorists often think that if they have taken their vehicle in for its annual MOT then it doesn’t need a service, but it is actually essential that you take your car for both. A service is a more in-depth inspection of the car, and it makes sure that every part of the vehicle is running efficiently and safely. 

Types of car services:

Interim service: 

This service is for high-mileage motorists who cover 20,000 miles or more every year. These drivers need more than one service per year in order to keep their vehicle properly maintained, and should get an interim service every 6 months. During an interim service, the mechanic checks the main vehicle components, such as lights, windscreen wipers, tyres, brakes, engine, and exhaust. 

Full service:

This is the more common service for drivers who have a lower mileage. It is recommended that you take your vehicle for a full service every 12 months, or after driving it for 12,000 miles, whichever is first. A full service is extremely thorough and can cover up to 50 components of the vehicle, including the suspension, clutch, spark plugs, air conditioning, wheel bearings, brakes, electric parts, and many more. 

 

If your vehicle needs an MOT or a service, then the experts at Munster Tyres can help. We have been providing professional car servicing, MOTs and repairs to customers throughout Fulham and the West London area for over 40 years. Contact our friendly team today to learn more.

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