Whats the difference between a MOT Test and a Car Service ?

Whats the difference between a MOT Test and a Car Service?

I am amazed how many times each month I hear the words. ” I don’t know why my car has a fault its only just had its MOT test”.

Now I am not saying this applies to all car drivers, however, we still come across many people who don’t understand the importance of regular car servicing, or the difference between a service and MOT.

An MOT Test:

The most basic way to explain the difference is that the MOT Test is a limited visual check mandated by the government, the test is design to check whether the vehicle is  roadworthy. The full inspection list for MOT test can be found on the gov.uk website .

An MOT is a mandatory annual visual inspection and is no where near as thorough as a service. It is also only a snapshot in time, it states at the time of testing the vehicle was in that condition – obviously you could leave the MOT Test site drive down the road and a new fault could occur, which may or may not be a problem if the police where to carry out a roadside inspection.

  • For example: your headlights may be working at the time of test, but may fail the next day on your way home from work. The police may see this and want to address the matter with you, stating that your car only had its MOT test yesterday, would not excuse the fault. You are responsible to ensure your car is in roadworthy condition each and every time you get into it, to drive on a public road. Cars are like people they develop faults without warning, no one could foresee your lights failing in this instance.

A Service:

A Service is designed to maintain and keep the vehicle running at its best, its not compulsory but without one, your vehicles performance will suffer and it will become less reliable.  It also helps to have a good service record when you sell the car.

Unlike an MOT, a service will vary from Make and Model of car. The Garage will advise you on your individual vehicles needs.

The main point to note is that an MOT test does not cover the general mechanical condition of the vehicle.

The main components of a Service include replacing:

Oil, Oil Filter, Cabin Filter, Air Filter, Fuel Filter and Spark plugs if applicable – none of these are checked or replaced as part of an MOT Test and keeping these in the best possible condition is key to the longevity, performance and running of your car.

Worn parts are also highlighted as part of a service allowing the customer the option to replace and maintain the vehicles reliability and general condition.

As a garage we can only advise customers to Service there vehicles regularly, to reduce the chances of it breaking down and becoming unreliable.

” Is you car important to you?”

“Do you need to use your car daily for work?”

” Would your car breaking down be problematic to you?”

If you answered yes to all 3 of these questions then we would highly recommend you check when your last car service was carried out.