A comprehensive guide to council-run MOT centres

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Sending your car for its annual MOT can be daunting, as it’s often an occasion for you to discover repair work required that you weren’t expecting… and therefore also an occasion for you to part with some cold, hard cash that you hadn’t intended to.

It can be difficult to judge what to do when facing a big bill, particularly if you’re unsure of exactly which repairs are essential and which aren’t. What lots of people don’t realise is that there is another way to face MOTs – using a council-run centre.

How is a council-run MOT centre different to a standard garage?

These MOT centres won’t, for the most part, actually administer any repairs; but instead will carry out the test and advise you of work required. There’s no incentive for them to fail or give advisories that aren’t essential, as the centres won’t receive extra work as a result.

If you’re worried that your local garages may be charging you more than you think fair, trying one of these centres may be for you.

Why do councils have these centres?

Primarily, these centres are to service the council’s own vehicles, but they must (with a couple of exceptions) be open to the public.

If they’re not making money from repairs – won’t they be more expensive upfront?

Council MOT centres can seem more expensive up-front, as mechanics will normally charge a lower fee to attract more business in. However, the centres are still limited by the maximum test fee – so can’t charge more than £54.85 at present.

What if the car fails the MOT, and has to be brought back to be re-tested?

Most council MOT centres will give you up to 50% off a re-test fee, provided the vehicle’s brought back to the original test centre for a partial retest within 10 working days.

Where’s my nearest council MOT centre?

In alphabetical order:

Council Location Address
Aberdeen City Council Aberdeen Kittybrewster Depot, 38 Powis Terrace, Kittybrewster, Aberdeen AB25 3RF
Aberdeenshire Council Aberdeenshire Harlaw Road, Inverurie AB51 4TE
Aberdeenshire Council Aberdeenshire Kirkton Rd, Stonehaven AB39 2NQ
Adur and Worthing Council West Sussex Commerce Way, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8TA
Ashfield District Council Ashfield Station Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield NG17 5HB
Bath & North East Somerset Council Bath Locksbrook Trading Estate, Bath BA1 3EL
Bolton Council Bolton Bradley Fold Depot, Bradley Fold Road, Bolton BL2 6RS
Bristol City Council Bristol Sandy Park Rd, Brislington, Bristol BS4 3NZ
Cardiff Council Cardiff Coleridge Road, Grangetown, Cardiff CF11 8BT
Carlisle City Council Carlisle Boustead’s Grassing, Rome Street, Carlisle CA2 5LG
Carmarthenshire County Council Carmarthenshire Trostre Depot, Trostre Road, LLanelli SA14 9RAQ
Ceredigion County Council Ceredigion Glanyrafon Ind Est, Llanbadarn, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3JQ
Chelmsford City Council Chelmsford Drovers Way, Chelmsford CM2 5PH
Cheltenham Borough Council Cheltenham Central Depot, Swindon Rd, Cheltenham GL51 9JZ
Cherwell District Council Oxfordshire Thorpe Lane Depot, Banbury OX16 4UT
Chichester District Council Chichester Westhampnett, West Sussex, PO18 0NS
Cornwall Council Bodmin Central Group Centre, Castle Canyke, Bodmin, PL31 1DZ
Cornwall Council Redruth Western Group Centre, Radnor Road, Scorrier, Redruth, TR16 5EH
Coventry City Council Coventry 259 London Rd, Coventry CV3 4AR
Croydon Borough Council Croydon Factory Lane, Croydon, CR0 3RL
Denbighshire County Council Denbighshire Expressway Business Park, Abergele Road, Bodelwyddan LL18 5SQ
Derbyshire County Council Buxton Hallsteads Garage, Buxton, SK17 8BJ
Derbyshire County Council Chesterfield Brimington Road Nth, Chesterfield S41 9BE
Derbyshire County Council Derbyshire Ripley Rd, Ambergate DE56 2ER
Derbyshire County Council Derbyshire Rotherside Road, Eckington S21 4HL
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council Doncaster North Bridge, Doncaster DN5 9AN
Dundee City Council Dundee Marchbanks Workshop, 34 Harefield Road, Dundee DD3 6EZ
Durham County Council Durham Meadowfield Depot, St John’s Rd, Meadowfield, Durham, DH7 8XL
East Riding of Yorkshire Council East Riding of Yorkshire Annie Reed Road, Beverley HU17 0LF
Epping Forest District Council Epping Forest Oakwood Hill Depot, Loughton, IG10 3TZ
Fife Council Fife Cupar Trading Estate, Cupar, Fife KY15 4SX
Fylde Borough Council  Lytham St Annes Snowdon Rd, Lytham St Annes FY8 3DP
Gateshead Council Gateshead Central Depot, Park Road, Gateshead NE8 3HN
Glasgow City Council Glasgow 425 Polmadie Road, G42 OPG
Guildford Borough Council Guildford Woking Road Depot, Woking Road, Guildford GU1 1QE
Halton Borough Council Widnes Lowehouse Lane, Widnes, WA8 7AW
Hampshire County Council Hampshire Hedge End Depot, Botley Road, Hedge End SO30 2RA
Hampshire County Council Winchester Bishops Waltham Workshop, Botley Road, Bishops Waltham, SO32 1DR
Harrogate Borough Council Harrogate Claro Rd, Harrogate HG1 4AT
Kirklees Metropolitan Council Dewsbury George Street Depot, Dewsbury WF13 2LX
Kirklees Metropolitan Council Huddersfield Vine Street Depot, Huddersfield HD1 6NT
Knowsley Council Merseyside Stretton Way Depot, Huyton Industrial Estate, Knowsley L36 6JF
Lancashire County Council Bamber Bridge Dewhurst Row, Holme Road, Bamber Bridge PR5 6BB
Lancashire County Council Burnley Units A & B Brindley Close, Network 65 Business Park, Burnley BB11 5TD
Leeds City Council Leeds 225A York Road, Leeds LS9 7QQ
Leicester City Council  Leicester 17 Lower Willow Street, Leicester LE1 2HP
London Borough of Camden Kings Cross York Way Depot, Freight Lane, York Way,
London Borough of Hounslow Hounslow Bridge Road Depot, Pears Rd, Hounslow TW3 1SQ
London Borough of Newham East Ham Central Depot, Jenkins Lane, IG11 0AD
London Borough of Tower Hamlets Poplar Blackwall Transport Complex, 1 Silvocea Way, London, E14 0JJ
London Borough of Wandsworth Wandsworth 1 Dormay Street, Frogmore Complex, London, SW18 1EY
Luton Borough Council Luton Central Depot, Kingsway, Luton LU4 8AU
Middlesbrough Council Middlesbrough Cargo Fleet Lane, Middlesborough TS3 8AL
Midlothian Council Midlothian Old Edinburgh Rd, Bellshill ML4 3JF
Newcastle City Council Newcastle Newington Road, Shieldfield, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE6 5BD
Newcastle Under Lyme Borough Council Newcastle-Under-Lyme Knutton Lane, Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 2SL
Norfolk County Services Norwich 280 Fifers Lane, Norwich NR6 6EQ
North Lanarkshire Council Lanarkshire Old Edinburgh Rd, Bellshill ML4 3JF
Nottingham City Council Nottingham Central Works Depot, Abbey Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 5NE
Nottingham City Council Nottingham Eastcroft MOT, Eastcroft Depot, London Road, Nottingham, NG2 3AH
Nottingham City Council Nottinghamshire Bilsthorpe Depot, Bilsthorpe Business Park, Bilsthorpe, Nottinghamshire NG22 8ST
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council Nuneaton St. Marys Road Depot, St. Marys Road, Nuneaton CV11 5AR
Oldham Council Oldham Moorhey Street Oldham OL4 1JF
Pembrokeshire County Council Pembrokeshire Thornton Industrial Trading Estate, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire SA73 2RR
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council Redhill Horley Road, Redhill RH1 6PN
Royal Borough of Greenwich Thames Mead Birchmere Depot, Eastern Way, London SE28 8BF
Salford City Council Salford Turnpike Depot, 631 Eccles New Road, Salford M50 1SW
Sheffield City Council Sheffield Staniforth Road, Sheffield S9 3HD
Southampton City Council Southampton Totton Workshop, Jacobs Gutter Lane, Totton, Southampton, SO40 9TQ
Southampton City Council Southampton City Depot, First Avenue, Millbrook, Southampton SO15 0LJ
Staffordshire County Council Stafford Beacon Business Park, Weston Road, Stafford ST18 0WL
Stockton On Tees Borough Council Stockton On Tees Cowpen Lane Depot, Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees TS23 4DD
Stoke On Trent City Council Stoke On Trent Weighbridge Site, Cromer Road, Northwood, Stoke on Trent ST1 6QN
Test Valley Borough Council Andover Portway Depot, Macadam Way, Andover, SP10 3XW
Test Valley Borough Council Tees Valley Limerick Rd, Dormanstown, Redcar TS10 5JU
The City of Edinburgh Council Edinburgh 38 Russell Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2LP
Vale of Glamorgan Council Glamorgan Vehicle Workshop, Alps Depot, Quarry Road, Wenvoe CF5 6AA
Walsall Council Walsall Environmental Depot, 200 Pelsall Road, Brownhills, Walsall WS8 7EN
Warrington Borough Council Warrington Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington WA4 6PT
Waveney District Council Lowestoft Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft NR32 2EF
West Lothian Council West Lothian Deans Industrial Estate, Livingstone EH54 8AY
Wigan Council Wigan Makerfield Depot, Makerfield Way, Ince, Wigan WN2 2PR
Wiltshire Council Wiltshire Horton Road, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2JJ
Wrexham County Borough Council Wrexham Abbey Road South, Wrexham Industrial Estate Wrexham, LL13 9PW

Can you appeal a failed MOT result?

Yes! You need to complete a VT17 form (available from Gov.uk, or your local MOT centre) and send it off to your local VOSA centre. However, it’s worth noting you can be failed on lots of minor things. Which leads on nicely to the next question in this guide…

What minor things can I do to stop an easy fail?

There’s a couple of easy maintenance jobs you can do to make sure your car doesn’t straight fail the MOT. These include:

  • Cleaning the numberplates
  • Fixing any broken or sticky windscreen wipers
  • Replacing any broken bulbs
  • Ensuring tyres are at the correct pressure and have plenty of tread on them
  • Check suspension
  • Have any windscreen chips filled and fixed
  • Check exhaust for leaks
  • Top up all fluids.

What are your experiences with council-run MOT centres?

Let us know in the comments below!

Author Lex Barber

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