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What’s the difference between a Service and an MOT?

Despite what many believe, there are many differences between a Service and an MOT! If you didn’t know that, you’re not the only one. They sound like they’re potentially very similar, as they’re both part of your car’s maintenance, but there are many fundamental differences. If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve been offered a Service alongside your MOT, keep reading.


Let’s start with an MOT. MOTs are a legal requirement once your car is three years old, and you will need to book one every year thereafter. You cannot drive a car over three years old without a valid MOT certificate.

A Service, on the other hand, is not a legal requirement, although it may affect your warranty if you don’t arrange a Service. Just because you aren’t legally obliged to get a Service, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to skip it! A Service will keep your car in good condition and help maintain its value. It is expected that a car is serviced every year, so you may run into difficulties if you try to sell the car later without an annual Service.

What happens during an MOT and Service?

There are similarities between an MOT and a Service – to start with, both will check that your car is roadworthy and safe to drive. However, a Service is a lot more thorough, as an MOT will just check that your car is legally roadworthy – not that it’s running optimally.

A Service includes lots of extra checks to make sure your car is running at its best. Regularly servicing your car can help it to retain its value, improve fuel economy and extend your car’s life. Put simply, an MOT simply checks for any issues that could stop you from driving, whereas a Service is designed to maintain your car’s condition.

Why is a Service more expensive than an MOT?

Not only does your Service include far more checks than an MOT but, at Tyre Spot, we also include a Castrol oil change and an oil filter replacement. This is all part of keeping your car running optimally and helping you to maintain its value.

We recommend a Service every year – unlike an MOT which isn’t required until the car is three years old. A Service can find faults before they begin to cause any issues for you, and spotting an issue early usually results in a cheaper fix. If you get your Service every year as recommended, then hopefully when your MOT does come around after three years, your car is in great shape and you don’t have any costly expenses!

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