News from the Department for Transport is that the maximum cost of the annual MOT test will be capped at £54.85 until 2015.

That's all well and good. It means you won't pay through the nose for your annual check-up, and it means that garages and dealers can charge a fair amount for what is an increasingly difficult job.

Here's the thing, though: when did you last pay anywhere near £54.85 for an MOT?

A quick online check for 'cheap MOT test' reveals a £19 option from a company that will pick up and return your car as well as carrying out the test. 

In fact, among the top five results the highest price quoted is £30 from a national quick-fitting company.

It's hard to believe that garages can still make any profit on an MOT test, especially when the job itself is increasingly difficult to do. Earlier this year VOSA introduced a number of changes to the test to include checks for electronic sub-systems and warning lights.

To get access to a modern car's on-board diagnostics garages have to invest in new equipment, which increases costs for them.