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What is the difference between an MOT and service?

14th January 2021

Is an MOT and service the same thing?

Simply put, no – there is a distinct difference between an MOT and a car service. Although the two are similar in some aspects, and often people are unsure on the difference between the two, the main difference lies in the purpose of the checks, and the guidelines which the checks are marked against.

What is an MOT?

An MOT is an annual test which is a required by law. The checks that are conducted in the MOT test follow the DVSA’s strict criteria which indicates exactly when a car should fail or pass its MOT. There are only a few instances when this test is not required annually, which include:

  • If your car is younger than 3 years old
  • If your vehicle is a historic vehicle
  • If your vehicle was built or registered more than 40 years ago

Learn more about driving without and MOT and MOT certificates explained from our helpful guides.

What is a car service?

Contrasting to an MOT, a car service follows guidelines set out by the vehicle manufacturer, rather than the DVSA guidelines. This means that a car service focuses on a series of maintenance procedures to determine how effectively the vehicle is running. Typically, technicians will be looking to identify any reasons that would indicate the car is unable to perform optimally while on the road.

Is it worth having my MOT at the same time as my service?

Yes – it’s beneficial to have both your MOT and your car service conducted at the same time. This is for a number of reasons:

  • Financial benefit – contrary to popular belief, booking both your MOT and service together can actually save you money in the long run. Although it’s a higher cost to fork out at the time, you may run into trouble by not having your vehicle serviced later down the line.
  • Safety – having your car tested against both the vehicle manufacturer specifications and the DVSA guidelines will ensure your car is safe to drive.
  • Limiting future motoring problems – regularly servicing your vehicle also means you are limiting your chances of running into problems in the future.

Book in for your MOT and car service now at your local Merityre branch. Alternatively, for any further MOT or service related questions, get in touch with a member of our expert team.