A new maintenance package is offering drivers up to £750 of MOT repairs as research reveals nearly four million people avoid having their car serviced because they’re scared of expensive bills.
Motoring body the RAC has launched MOT Assist as an incentive for drivers to keep their car regularly serviced after a study found motorists putting themselves and other road users at risk by avoiding maintenance.
Under the programme, drivers who have their car serviced at a RAC approved garage will then be covered for up to £750 of parts and labour costs to get their vehicle through its next MOT.
RAC figures show that millions of drivers are paying hundreds of pounds a year to get their car through its MOT. According to its data, more than half (52 per cent) have paid £300 or more, and five per cent – the equivalent of 1.7m people – have paid £1,000 or more to get their vehicle through the test.
Fear of hidden costs
Almost half of drivers questioned by the RAC said they were worried about being hit with unexpected repair bills when getting their car serviced, with a quarter – equivalent to 3.8m – admitting they would rather avoid a scheduled service than face the potential bill for a hidden problem.
With services checking everything from oil levels to brake condition, it’s possible that many of these drivers are risking a fault or failure by skipping the maintenance. Even if the problem is not dangerous, having it put right sooner can often be cheaper than letting it get worse.
Announcing the new programme, RAC MOT Assist product manager Lauren French said: “Clearly, taking a car in for a service or MOT can be a nerve-wracking experience with many drivers concerned about what might be uncovered, and the unpleasant financial consequences that can result. But it’s even more alarming that this experience is enough to put some people off getting their car serviced in the future. Just how many people are driving vehicles on the UK’s roads that they know have problems?
“The best advice to any driver is to keep on top of servicing and maintenance work – the quicker problems are identified, often the cheaper they are to remedy. But at the same time we know that running a car can feel burdensome, and that some drivers don’t feel confident finding an affordable but reliable garage, or trusting one with looking after their car. This is why we’ve built a national network of RAC approved independent garages that drivers can depend on for good service and fair prices, with every one of them backed by the RAC’s Customer Charter and Code of Conduct.”
How to claim
To be eligible for the MOT Assist coverage you must have your car serviced and inspected at an RAC approved garage and have any remedial work identified carried out at your own expense. After that, you will be covered for up to £750 of parts and labour costs at your next MOT. The package covers lighting; steering and suspension; braking system; seats and seatbelts; windscreen wipers and washers; fuel injection and ECU; exhaust gas emission standards. Welding and repairs to cosmetic damage are not covered by the scheme and any faults caused by non-approved modifications, or recurring faults you have been aware of but not addressed are also not covered.
To qualify for coverage, at the time of the inspection you have to meet the following conditions:
- Your vehicle is less than 10 years old and has less than 100,000 miles on the odometer
- Your vehicle has a period of not less than 90 days remaining before the next MOT test becomes legally due;
- Your vehicle has been serviced by an RAC Approved Garage within the last 7 days;
- You are an individual resident of, or if a company are registered in, England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland; and
- Your vehicle is a private car or light commercial vehicle registered in the UK and not exceeding 3.5 tonnes