An East London council could get you an MOT

Riley 1-5-litre sports saloon 1949 ©

A ROADWORTHINESS certificate should cost no more than £55. But has a garage ever found that your car, to pass the MOT, needs a lot of work costing a lot more than that?

Certainly, unless you are mechanically savvy, suspicion can develop.

But it can be avoided by using a council testing station: they do not carry out repairs so have no interest in non-existent faults. [Theoretically. Couldn’t they have friends in low places, eg, under mechanical hoists? – Ed.]

These test centres are legally required to be open to the public, and in this time of local-government job cuts, your custom will probably be welcome.

Most users, says the MoneySavers website, say their cars either passed the test or needed fewer repairs than cars MOT-tested at private garages.

The downside is that a council centre may charge slightly more than a garage because they may under-charge for the MOT in the hope of making more money overall by charging for the repair work they’ll recommend you have them do (which may, of course, be required). And if you use an MOT centre, you then have to go off to find a mechanic to do any repairs.

* Tower Hamlets council test station, Blackwall Transport Complex, 1 Silvocea Way E14 0JJ UK (020 7364 1069) charges £50 for a car MOT test and £55 for a light van.

Here are some other council testers within a few quids’ gas range of Hackney:

* Poplar: East Ham MOT Centre, Central Depot, Jenkins Lane IG11 0AD (020 7364 1069)

* King’s Cross: York Way Depot, Freight Lane N1C 4BE (020 7974 3447)

* Epping Forest: Langston Road, Debden IG10 3UE (020 8532 0357)

Tip: one in five vehicles fails its MOT for a dead light bulb. So walk around to check your car’s indicators and lights, front and rear. Don’t forget the fog lights, as on the car above. [Fog lights? Get with it! Anyway, a better money-saving tip would be to buy a bicycle. – Ed.]

Hamish Scott 031213

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. 

* The hazy picture above shows a Riley 1.5-litre 1949 (some people want to know this stuff) with women of the Sutton family. A vehicle of this age does not need a road worthiness certificate. Odd but true.

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