If your car is three-years-old or older and you need to update your MOT, Fife Autocentre offers the following advice on what to consider when looking for a garage for an MOT test...

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Check Your Warranty For Free MOT

If you bought your car new, the manufacturer may offer you a discounted first-time MOT. It is rare, but it does happen, especially if you have unfailingly returned to the manufacturer for spares and services.

Check if you can receive a free or heavily discounted MOT as a reward for scrupulously looking after your car, and seize the opportunity.

Make Sure The Garage Is Accredited

When checking out a potential garage, the first thing you should look for is the MOT symbol somewhere on the premises.

The symbol can only be displayed by service stations and garages with accreditation and approval from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).

MOT testing stations must adhere to strict regulations and allow the DVSA to make spot checks at any time, so you know you're in good hands.

The accreditation means that the service station has an Authorized Examiner who understands exactly what is required from an MOT test, and that the service station also has the equipment necessary to make all the checks needed.

Read Reviews

Your next step is to read reviews. Unhappy customers tend to be quite vocal and while one or two negative reviews can be ignored, a whole army of complaints should not be.

Read through the reviews too, rather than just assessing the rating out of five as sometimes people will leave negative reviews because their car earned a fail or cost them more to fix than they thought it should.

Multiple reviews complaining about rudeness, evasion on the part of the mechanics or reception staff, over-charging or vehicles not running properly following a service should be a matter for concern, however.

Check The Garage Is Clean & Tidy

A professional mechanic might have greasy hands and stained overalls, but their toolbox will be sparkling and precisely laid out.

The garage should be basically clean and very tidy, with a place for all the tools and the floor layout clearly delineating areas that are safe to walk and those where vehicles could be moving.

Any garage that is dirty or disordered is unlikely to take good care of your car and so best avoided.

They Know What to Do

If the mechanic has a look at your car and can talk knowledgeably about what tasks need to be done before your car will pass an MOT test then this is a good sign.

You can assume they know what they are talking about and will take pride in restoring your car to peak condition before letting the MOT inspector anywhere near it. A good time to start this conversation is during a service.

Remember, expertise is always noticeable, and you should seize upon it when you find it.

The Garage Team Are Open and Friendly

If the garage is open plan with mechanics at work in plain sight, that is a good sign.

If you are greeted with a smile and even shown around the garage - if it is safe to do so - then this is another sign of a good garage.

Openness will follow throughout your experience with them; from the work that is needed on your car to how much it will cost you, and – in the event of a new fault being found while work is ongoing – you will be consulted before any extra work is done.

Book your MOT service today at any one of the DVSA-approved Fife Autocentre branches.

Visit fife-autocentre.co.uk for more information.