Published on: 20/11/2023
When your motor goes wrong, it can feel like the end of the world, so taking the time to carry out basic care practices will ensure your motor is looked after, lasts longer and remains safe throughout its lifetime.
Here at Trust My Garage, we’re putting together a series of Best Motoring Practices Guides to help steer you through maintaining your motor.
Knowing when your MOT is due
Knowing when your car’s MOT is due is beneficial in a number of ways. First and foremost, driving a car on public roads without a valid MOT is illegal and could void your insurance and result in penalty points on your licence. An annual MOT can help prevent you from potentially driving an unsafe vehicle, as an MOT checks the roadworthiness of your car, and identifies any key components that need fixing or replacing, along with potential issues that may arise down the line, referred to on your MOT certificate as ‘Advisories.’
Don’t leave your MOT until the day it is due to expire. MOT Stations are usually booked up several working days in advance so getting an MOT could prove difficult. If your car fails its MOT on the day of its test, your garage may not have the parts to fix your car to hand and will have to order them or may not have space in their workshop schedule to fit in the repairs required. This consequently means that your vehicle is illegal to drive and therefore off the road, until it is retested and passed.
Back in April 2020, due to the COVID restrictions, many vehicles were given a six-month MOT exemption to ensure that those needing their vehicle to deliver key services were able to do so, without falling foul of the law. The knock-on effect of the exemption is that these MOTs are now due in October, November, and December, on top of the vehicles that are already due to have their MOT in the same period. If your vehicle MOT is due between October – December, it might be worth booking your MOT weeks in advance. You can submit your car for an MOT within one calendar month of its MOT expiry and still preserve to original MOT date.
Driving without an MOT is a criminal offence and is potentially unsafe. You can be fined up to £1000 for driving without a valid MOT certificate. Your vehicle’s MOT status is accessible to the police via Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras. To keep you and other road users safe and to help avoid a fine, you should always know when your MOT is due and book your car in well before its expiration date.
Knowing when your Service is due
Unlike your MOT, it’s not illegal to drive your car without having it serviced, but it’s not advisable. Regular servicing helps to maintain your vehicle, improves its longevity, and may save you money long term, as often any issues with your car are picked up early meaning they can be repaired before items fail completely, potentially resulting in a breakdown.
Whether you use your vehicle a little or a lot having it regularly maintained helps protect your investment. During a service, a technician will check your car for any signs of wear and tear, and maintain essential fluids such as oil, coolant and washer fluids, which help your motor run to its optimum.
Servicing your motor will help it run smoothly and efficiently, saving you money on fuel. Your local garage may also spot any potential underlying issues with your car and fix them before it becomes more dangerous and expensive to rectify.
If your vehicle is under warranty, it is typically required that your car is serviced to keep its warranty valid. Independent garages have access to the same technical information, vehicle parts, and industry training as main dealers, so you can be confident that your local garage can carry out service and maintenance work on your car at the same level as a dealer, without invalidating your vehicle’s warranty. It is still a common misconception that using a garage outside of a main dealer network will invalidate a vehicle’s warranty, but this is NOT the case – owners can take their vehicle to any garage they choose, provided that the garage follows the manufacturer’s servicing schedule, utilises manufacturer or matching quality parts, and uses the correct oils and fluids.
Keep safe this Spring with Trust My Garage
Did you know that you can sign up to be reminded when your MOT and service are due on the Trust My Garage website? Simply fill in the details here and we will remind you when your next MOT or service is due.
If you are unsure of your vehicle’s roadworthiness or if you experience any issues with your car, Trust My Garage members are here to help you.
Whether it’s for a check-up, service, MOT or repair, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) approved code of conduct that our members follow means that you and your motor will always get the best possible service.
For more information about Trust My Garage or to locate your nearest TMG member visit http://www.trustmygarage.co.uk.