How much does your MOT cost? I ask because the people who run MOT test centre search website MOT Angel have suggested that any garage offering a knock-down test for, say, 20 quid, may not be offering the very best attention, service or value.

All this assumes, of course, that you know what the maximum cost of an MOT actually is. Well, officially it is £54.85. MOT Angel helpfully broke down all the costs involved in tackling the test, but that’s far too dreary. 

The bottom line is that in most cases conducting the test is around an hour’s labour. So in most cases it will cost £50 to MOT your car and the profit may be completely cancelled out by other factors.

In that case the garage, which charges an almost nominal fee, needs to make up the shortfall somewhere. They will do that by replacing parts at a suitably big mark-up and probably with higher than average labour costs. Garages who offer a collection and delivery service are even more likely to hold your car to ransom.

Obviously MOT Angel offer to find you the best and most reliable garage in your area plus all sorts of wonderful maintenance packages. To me that just emphasises the value of finding a local garage you can trust and actually talk to. It may take a few goes and you need to ask friends and family, but seeking out an independent outfit with mechanics you know by name is priceless.