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:
|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:
What are your experiences with council-run MOT centres?
Let us know in the comments below!
Author Lex Barber