Is the MOT price right?


Before we start talking MOT pricing let’s just check we’ve all done our annual assessment? Don’t forget this year is supposed to be the hardest one yet and you need to achieve 80% to pass. If you don’t by the 31st March 2024 (or miss the deadline completely) you’ll be required to pass this year's and next year's (so 2024 and 2025) assessment and do a demonstration test. And don’t forget, from the 1st April you also have to provide a basic disclosure certificate (also known as a DBS check).  

Now that’s out of the way…

Current MOT frequency is saved with some fabulous work from across the industry feeding into the MOT Consultation, meaning it’ll remain in place as is. It’s a great thing for road safety and will ultimately save the motorist money in the long run.  

But no sooner was the news shared over social media, another hot topic of discussion reared its head: MOT pricing.

The current MOT price of £54.85 has been in place since 2010 and there are a lot of calls for an increase, with business costs rising including salaries of testers, and the average hourly rate hitting the mid £70 mark according to industry trends. After nearly 15 years, it does seem to be time for an increase.  

Freddo economics

If we break this down to simple terms; in 2010 a Freddo (the little chocolate bar just in case you didn’t know) cost 10p, in 2024 a bar costs 25p, that’s an increase of 150%. So, in 2010 you could by 548 Freddos for the cost of the MOT, now you can only get 219.

The general consensus is that while some businesses continue to discount MOTs there’s no interest in increasing the rate, but this does seem a bit unfair as one business’s decision is forcing others to limit their income.  

It’s going to be a hard task to get people to invest the upwards of £30,000 in a new lane when the data forecasts that it’s going to pull in an ever-decreasing profit.  

Looking at the data from GiPA the car parc for cars over three years old has increased by 16%, but the number of testers has stayed the same since 2018 at 66,000. It should be 76,000 if it followed the same growth rate.  

Value for money

This isn’t a case of trying to increase profit margins for the sake of it. During the MOT Consultation the DfT stated that the £54.80 cost of the MOT equates to 1% of the running cost of the average car per year. Even if the price increased to keep up with the price of Freddos it would put it at £137 - still only 2.5% of the average cost of running a car. And that’s with other changes to the MOT possible.

The MOT Consultation ended with the frequency remaining the same, but there’s still discussion of trailing new particulate matter testing to further improve air quality. That’s a good but will be another cost increase for the required equipment for the test lane further, decreasing the profit margins of running a lane.  

At the moment the business case for investing in an MOT lane really doesn’t make sense. If you were to take it to the Dragons’ Den, they’d laugh you out the door. It’s why some kind of change really needs to happen before we find ourselves in a really poor position where there are not enough MOT test stations to manage the car parc.   

Shaping the future of the MOT

Don’t forget to sign-up for the latest IMI MOT online event Navigating the Future of MOT: Insights, Improvements, and Engagement. The webinar will give you the opportunity to delve into the recent consultation findings and explore potential future enhancements.  

Featuring discussions led by MOT experts, including Neil Barlow and Simon Smith, alongside a robust Q&A session, this event invites MOT professionals to contribute to shaping the future of MOT testing.

Session will include:

Overview of Consultation and Vision for MOT

Considerations for Changes to the MOT Test

The Role of the IMI and Industry Perspectives

Panel Discussion: Shaping the Future MOT Together

Extended Q&A Session

Sign up for free