The main differences between MOT and a Service

15 April 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

Let’s start off by looking at whether an MOT and a Service is the same thing.

Despite the misconception amongst some motorists, a car service and MOT are two separate things and it is very important for a car owner to comply with both.

To ensure that your vehicle is meeting the legal requirements an MOT will check a vehicle’s safety, amongst other factors. Servicing, on the other hand, will maintain the roadworthiness of your vehicle.

Some may assume that once their vehicle has gone through an MOT, any issues with the functionality of their car should be cleared, however, this is not the case as MOT does not cover the performance of your vehicle (how your car runs on the road). Servicing is, in fact, the checks that keep your vehicle safe to drive on the road. As a result, we recommend that you do not wait until your MOT test to find out if anything is wrong with your vehicle.

With that said, there are things that you can check yourself prior to your car service. By completing these checks yourself, you become aware and learn about what is required to maintain your car. From this, you will also get an appreciation of what regular servicing will do for your car as you feel the difference as you drive.

Now, let's look into whether an MOT includes a service.

It is understandable to think that when taking your vehicle in for MOT equates to a full vehicle maintenance check through tests that keep your car in a roadworthy condition. Many drivers are unaware of the difference between regular services or an annual MOT. It makes sense as not many people place interest in what actually happens when they bring their car in for a check-up.

In order to understand the difference between the two, you first need to understand what is involved in an MOT. An MOT is basically an annual inspection where your vehicle has to meet the strict criteria set by the DVSA. In a sense, the checklist is in fact there to make sure your car is actually in a roadworthy condition, but like mentioned earlier, it doesn't cover the performance of the vehicle.

As you know, if your vehicle fails the MOT,  you will take your car to the garage for additional work to be done to ensure your vehicle passes. No repairs or replacements will happen during your MOT test. The test is there to ensure your vehicle is safe enough to drive on the road.

So, this is where the Servicing comes in.

Each vehicle manufacturer will set out guidelines to ensure that the performance of your vehicle is at its best. Through servicing, your vehicle is being inspected based on those particular guidelines to keep it safe and functioning correctly. In a sense, you can look at the MOT as a bare minimum safety check whilst the service is more tailored to ensure that a particular vehicle is being maintained to avoid extreme damage and to mitigate some of the wear and tear. This is why there are two types of services; a full and interim service.

As regular servicing increases your vehicle lifespan, it can save you money and can retain some of the resell value of your vehicle if you do decide to resell, whereas not having regular car servicing can decrease the value considerably. If you would like to check whether your vehicle is working to its best potential, be sure to book a car service as soon as you can.

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