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What is the difference between Service and MOT?

What is the difference between Service and MOT?

Drivers quickly learn that they must keep a certain number of dates in their diary once they have responsibility for a car.

Two of these regular appointments are, firstly, the annual MOT test, and, secondly, a full service. While these are often both annual happenstances, they are not the same thing at all. Let's take a look.

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What is MOT?

The annual MOT test is a checklist of various car parts designed to ensure that your vehicle – and all the other vehicles on the UK's busy public road network – are in decent condition. Rather than being a pinnacle of good condition, the MOT is actually a bare minimum standard – something that drivers occasionally misconceive.

What is a Service?

A service should be done every so many miles or every six or twelve months, depending on how heavily used the vehicle is: carrying heavy loads, being driven off-road or in rough conditions usually demand a six-month service, rather than a twelve-month one. But there are also three different types of service that you can have:

Major Service: a complete replacement of consumables such as filters and fluids; check and replace of sparkplugs and generally fine-tuning the tyres, wheels and suspension systems and generally adjusting the whole vehicle so it is in optimum condition. These intensive services are ideal for cars that have had a lot of heavy usage, that are new to you, or that have perhaps missed an interim service. They are usually conducted annually.

Full Service: Similar to the major service, and also performed once a year, a full service changes oil and air filters and examines fluid levels and the general performance of the vehicle. They are thorough checks of your car, but perhaps slightly less rigorous than a major service.

Interim Service: Also called a 'six-month service' interim services are used to check up on the condition of a car to make sure it is in perfect running order. It usually includes an oil change and replacement of the oil filter.

The Legality

MOTs are a legal requirement but services – while strongly recommended – are not. MOTs were introduced in 1960 as a way to ensure that all the cars on the roads were fit to be there, and the checklist expands to include any new concerns or issues, such as harmful emissions which can cause illness in people living in heavily trafficked areas, or the correct inflation levels of tyres, which was made necessary by innovations in the manufacture of tyres.

These annual tests must begin when your car turns three, so don't delay – secure your MOT appointment in London at Elite Direct and stay roadworthy.

The Cost

While both MOT tests and services must be paid for, garages are free to set their own price for servicing, and this will probably depend upon how intensive their services are and upon which area the garage is situated within.

However, MOT fees are set by the government because they are a legal requirement and it is vital that drivers are able to afford the MOT test.

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