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At H Bowers we appreciate that the costs of running and maintaining a car are steadily increasing. We do our best to keep our prices competitive but we thought we’d also give you a few tips on how to save money when your car has its MOT.

Check your lights

Buying and replacing your own bulbs shouldn’t cost the earth and on modern cars is usually a fairly straightforward task. A very common reason for failing an MOT is that a bulb has gone without the driver realising it. Not only are you at risk of getting a fine if stopped by the police, but the cost of a garage to buy and replace a bulb is much higher than simply replacing it yourself. Not to mention the cost of a re-test (if there is one).

Does your car have screenwash?

Screen wash is so cheap to buy, most larger supermarkets have it, and so easy to replace that there’s really no reason that you should be failing your MOT on this point. Check your levels regularly and make sure there is something in the container on test day.

When did you last check your oil levels?

Granted on most modern cars you can see the oil levels either through a dial or when a warning lamp appears on your dashboard. Warning lamps are usually triggered when there is not enough oil so checking regularly will mean that you keep on top of how much you have. It’s good practice to check your oil levels at least once a month or more if you travel long distance.

Are your wiper blades cleaning your screen fully?

Another commonly ignored problem is where your wiper blades don’t fully clean the front or back windscreens. Even if you think you can see adequately, if there are any smears, streaks or areas where they don’t make contact with the screen properly, you should replace them.

Inflate your tires to the correct pressure and check the tread depth

This serves a number of purposes. Keeping your tires inflated properly can make sure you don’t pay over the odds for fuel, brake replacements, tire replacements and a whole host of other associated problems. A quick tip when checking the tread depth is to stick a 20p piece in the tread. If the outside band of the coin is invisible, the tire is within the legal limit (1.6mm minimum).

Did you know you can fail your test because of the license plate?

Your license plate needs to be clean, fully visible and have all of the lights around it working (if any). There is also a legal requirement around the spacing used between the characters so do check before you go ahead and order that shiny new personalised plate in a wacky font.

”Slow and steady wins the race”

This old adage fits perfectly when considering how to save money on vehicle running costs generally. Excessive acceleration or braking can take its toll on your vehicle. It impacts your brakes, engine, gears, tires and fuel consumption. Making sure your driving is smooth and steady will save you money in the long run and keep you safer on the roads.

Council MOT centres

This little-known MOT secret is frequently publicised by the Money Saving Expert as one of the best ways to save money on your MOT, if you’re confident that it will pass and not require repairs. All these test centres do is test. Given that they don’t repair (and therefore don’t make money if you fail) the theory is that they won’t be overly critical when they assess your car.

The major problem with council test centres to consider is that under the new MOT test rules, if your car is considered dangerous you won’t be able to drive it to a garage to get it repaired. You will likely need to have it recovered. You can read the full article here and see if there is a council test centre in your region.

We hope you’ve found a few ways to save some money on your next MOT. If there’s anything you need simply browse our ranges of parts from the menu above or feel free to contact us for anything you’re unsure of.