Car service & MOT

Author Name – Louise Helsby

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car servicing and mot

Servicing and MOT are two words that every driver will be familiar with. With both a car service and MOT, most people are aware that they serve a similar purpose. They both involve a professional set of eyes examining your vehicle, with the ultimate aim to be to send you out on the road with a fully functioning and safe car. With this being said, there are some fundamental differences between the two. In this article we are going to underline the differences between an MOT and a car service, and answer some common queries.

What is an MOT?

MOT is an abbreviation for Ministry of Transport. An MOT is a legal test that must be conducted on your vehicle to ensure that it is roadworthy, safe and meets environmental standards set by the UK government. 

An MOT check must be carried out annually for cars that are older than 3 years old. If your car is brand new you will not need an MOT check for the first 3 years. It is illegal for you to drive your vehicle without a valid MOT certificate.

To ensure that you avoid doing this, you can locate your MOT expiry date in your vehicle registration document. If you do not have your vehicle registration document, you check your MOT status by entering your registration into our MOT due date checker.

The areas of your car that will be checked in an MOT check, include –

Related: Common MOT failures and how to prevent them

What is a car service?

As previously stated a car service is similar to an MOT check in the aspect that similar components are checked, such as tyres, steering and brakes. However, a car service is completed on the guidelines of the particular car manufacturer rather than guidelines set by the Ministry of Transport.

At National, we offer three different car service packages. We offer an Oil and Filter Service, aimed at giving driver’s that extra peace of mind. We offer an Interim Service which we would recommend be conducted every 6,000 miles or 6 months (whichever comes first). Our most comprehensive service is a Full Service, which we recommend you get booked in for every 12 months or 12,000 miles.

To find out what was is conducted in a car service at National, please click on the related article below.

Related: What is conducted in a car service?

Unlike an MOT check a car service is not a mandatory requirement to legally drive your car on the UK’s roads. Although it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that you get your vehicle serviced at least once a year. This is because a car service heavily focuses on the health of your vehicle, and can spot faulty equipment in your car that may need changing. As well as changing faulty equipment, a car service (depending on the servicing package chosen) will change engine oil, filters and brake pads that are essential to keeping your vehicle performing at optimal levels. 

Some signals that you need your car servicing, include –

  • Dashboard warning light
  • Strange noises coming from vehicle
  • Loss of power when driving
  • Faulty brakes
  • You haven’t driven your car for an extended period of time

Related: How often should you sevice your car?

Should you service your car before an MOT?

It is recommended that you should actually complete a service after you have had an MOT check. This is because faults identified in a service can be easily flagged up during an MOT check. A service light on the dashboard does not result in a failed MOT.  

Can I drive my car home after a failed MOT?

In the result of a failed MOT, you will receive a refusal of MOT certificate (VT30). Whist your car has this certificate and has not been repaired it is essential that you do not drive your car under any circumstances. If you are caught driving your car you can face prosecution from the police and you are also endangering other drivers and yourself. 

Related: Can you drive your car without an MOT?

How much does a service and MOT cost?


Car servicing at national comes in 3 categories –

Oil and Filter service

Interim service

Full service

For more information about servicing at National click the button below

Related: Servicing


The standard DVSA price for a MOT at National is £54.85, however, we offer a significant discount here at National. For more information regarding MOTs click the button below

Related: MOT

Servicing and MOT

At National, you also have the opportunity to have a service and an MOT at the same time.

Interim service & MOT

Full service & MOT

Where can I get a service and MOT?

At National, we have over 250 nationwide garages that are capable of performing MOT checks and Services.

Click the button below to locate your nearest branch

Related: Find your nearest branch

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