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Retail Motor Industry Federation critical of plan for MoT price freeze

Today’s announcement that the Government plans to freeze MoT test prices has been criticised by the Retail Motor Industry Federation.

Earlier today, the Ministry of Justice announced that the statutory maximum price of the MoT test for a car will be frozen at £54.85 until 2015 – potentially saving up to £50m for drivers every year.

In response, the RMI says it recently met with the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, to discuss the pricing of MoTs with the focus being on increasing the MoT fee.

It said there is a genuine desire for garages to invest in technology, recruit apprentices for the future and provide a higher quality service to the consumer. A small increase in the fee would support all of these aspirations.

Stuart James, RMI director and head of the Independent Garage Association, said: "Whilst the RMI acknowledges the Government’s efforts to support the motorist it is outraged that it has failed to recognise the spiralling costs incurred by garages. The last official review of the MoT test price was in 2010. However in the last three years the cost of running a garage has snowballed.

"As the majority of MoT test stations are small to medium sized businesses this price freeze could result in these already struggling businesses being forced out of the market. This will profoundly damage the industry and stifle the economy just as it begins to recover."

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  • Julian Hall - 23/10/2013 16:53

    Whilst recognising the need to generate income to invest in the various technologies, we should look at "real world" transaction prices. Just drive down any road with garage/workshops or pick up your local free newspaper, and you will see any number of discounted offers on MOT's from businesses desperate to get some use out of the technology that they have already invested in! It's really only the dealerships with "captive" customers who are able to charge the full recomended test fee, so I find it difficult to see where the suggested £50m of saving for motorists from not increasing the fee will come from. As an industry, we risk being viewed in the same light as the major energy suppliers by demanding increases on one the mandatory headline price of running a car!

  • Mark Roberts - 23/10/2013 17:29

    I have heard the issues raised about investment many times before when it comes to MOTs. However when it comes to a free market and in these times what good would raising the fee do anyway. If garages are discounting now then they would continue to discount if it meant they would be getting the work despite what the fee is. Garages can always opt of doing MOTs if its not paying its way but I would suggest that many feel that it is a captive return over servicing for example for everyone needs their vehicle MOT'd where as you can choose whether to get your car serviced. Good MOT centres will always have plenty of business, not so good will fall by the wayside and thats the way business works Stuart.

  • Sid Swaine - 23/10/2013 17:42

    This news is disappointing however when we have garages undercutting each other to gain work the industry will find it hard to challenge this decision. As always "every cloud has a silver lining", maybe the Government Ministers having made the decision, that we do not need an increase (last in 2010) despite the huge increase in operating costs, they have paved the way not to award themselves a pay rise until 2015....Don't hold your breath...

  • peter lawless - 23/10/2013 19:29

    to be honest the max price freeze will not affect any garages as to there costs as every mot station charges there own price for mot test and never the full there is plenty of scope within the pricing i.e max price,to be able to adjust as required i run my own garage/mot station and cope ok

  • Malcolm - 23/10/2013 20:27

    Most garages already charge less than the maximum. It's probably the franchised dealers, who already charge £80 per hour for labour, who want to rip-off consumers a little more. The average MOT tester earns £450 per week and completes 6 MOT's per day. Not including the repair work that's £1,500 per week. I'd like any MOT operator to explain why he needs to charge more!!

  • - 24/10/2013 06:59

    At one time everyone had the brains not to distress price the MOT test as it would devalue the 'product'. in fact it was frowned upon by VOSA - not that they would admit it. Now it is heavily discounted by large chains, independants and franchise dealers. Therefore when reviewing the current official MOT test fee and the do a survey to see what the average fee is why would the support an increase? Even the vehicle manufacturers push for their dealer networks to do these tests free of charge.

  • PaWiSul - 24/10/2013 15:44

    Well, every MOT I have had took about 10 minutes so that's over £300 an hour. It even eclipses the rip-off prices charged by franchise dealers. One example was a lower tie rod replacement at the same time as a disc replacement. They charged full whack for both although they only had to dismantle it once.