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Garage Did MOT and Charged a Service Fee: Is This Right?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 6 Feb 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Garage Did Mot And Charged A Service Fee: Is This Right?

Q.

I have recently had my car put through its MOT. It passed no problem, however the garage I took it to charged me a £15 service charge on top of the MOT cost. Having spoken to a couple of friends I have been put into some doubt that I should have been charged for this. I would be really grateful if you could let me know either way as this has sparked something of a debate.

(C.C, 25 May 2009)

A.

For those of us that drive a car that is 3 years old or more, every year the agony of the MOT test looms. Motorists hold their breath as their pride and joy goes in for its annual healthcheck and keep their fingers crossed that it won't turn out to be too expensive. Prices vary from garage to garage, but generally the MOT test ranges between about £35 - £50 depending on whether or not a retest is included - but generally, when you get your vehicle MOT tested, there should only be one initial charge on your invoice.

This should be for the actual test itself, unless you have had any work carried out which you agreed to BEFORE the test took place. Usually this is a bad idea as once you've signed the waiver, or given the verbal go-ahead, then the garage can carry out expensive repairs and you won't have a leg to stand on if you find you can't, or don't want to pay their prices.

The amount you will be charged for the test varies from garage to garage and whether or not it includes a retest and any minor fixes, such as an oil change or refilling of washer fluid, but the maximum fee set by the DVLA is £54.00. This is the total maximum cost and VAT is not applicable so you should NOT be charged any more than this.

Depending on the price the test centre initially quoted you, you they may be attempting to cover the full fee by adding the service charge. Were you told of this when you were given the original quote for an 'MOT test'? From your question, I would suspect not, and so you may want to contest this and find out why you were charged a separate service charge that you were not made aware you would be paying for.

If this turns out to be the case and you don't get a satisfactory response to your query from the garage in question, then you might want to take the case to the Trading Standards authority in your area. They will be very interested to find out that the garage would appear to be advertising a lower initial price for the MOT test, then adding a service charge to it to bump up their profit.

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