The new maximum charge represents an increase of £6.20. The Government does not intend to increase the maximum price again until April 2008 at the earliest.
Stephen Ladyman, transport minister, said: "MOT tests are an annual check to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy and they benefit all motorists by helping to keep dangerous vehicles off the road. We have kept the increase in the MOT test maximum as low as possible, but the increase is necessary to cover the costs of the mechanics' time in fully checking each of the testable items.
"As a reassurance that the vehicles we and our families travel in are roadworthy, the MOT still represents value for money and provides important peace of mind. This is a maximum charge and many garages will continue to charge less than this.”
The increase relates to the amount of time taken by mechanics in garages carrying out the MOT test. The increase reflects a timing exercise undertaken earlier this year. The previous increase took place in 2000.
In the slightly longer term the Government will consider the idea of completely de-regulating MOT fee levels. This would mean that garages which carry out MOTs would be free to set their own fee for the test as they are now, but would not be subject to a maximum charge. This would allow market forces to control the cost. If this idea is pursued, any proposals would be subject to a consultation process.