When you’re behind the wheel of a car, it is your responsibility to keep yourself, your passengers and your fellow drivers safe. Safe driving is an important part of this, but keeping your car well-maintained is another vital step. This includes checking for damage, having it serviced regularly, and of course, taking your car for its annual MOT. Putting your car through an MOT once a year is also a legal requirement, so it’s important to put this date in your calendar and find a reliable local garage near you. Not sure where to take your car for its next annual inspection? Here are our top tips for finding an MOT near you.

Ask for recommendations from friends and family

Whenever you look for a new car garage, it’s always a good idea to ask for recommendations from your friends and family. Many car garages rely on word of mouth to find new customers and will go above and beyond to develop a positive reputation for this very reason.

If your friends and family have received a brilliant service from a car garage near you, they will be able to pass on their information to save you from doing lots of research. When you get your MOT done by mechanics who have been recommended by a friend, you can rest assured that you’ll receive exceptional service.

On the other hand, if your friends and family have received notably poor service from a garage in your local area, you’ll be able to avoid them. Asking for recommendations is always a great way to find top-quality companies, so use the power of word of mouth before booking in for your next MOT!

Take your search for trusted car garages online

If your friends and family can’t recommend a good spot for you to take your car, it’s time to take your search online. Searching for MOTs near you will bring up a list of all the available garages in your local area, giving you plenty of companies to choose between.

It can be tempting to call the first company on the list, however, it’s important to research the garage further. After all, having a website doesn’t necessarily mean they offer a great service! Despite this, you should still spend time looking through their website; this will give you all the information you need regarding the services offered and their contact information.

When browsing through garage websites, look for the following:

  • A list of all the services they offer – you may want to use the test centre again in the future, so it makes sense to work with mechanics who specialise in lots of different services.
  • Contact information for the garage – is this clear and easy to find? We’d recommend speaking to your chosen mechanics on the phone before booking any service.
  • Proof of accreditation – look out for signs that the garage is an approved MOT test centre, such as the blue triangles motif.

Look out for the MOT blue triangles

While looking for car garages to undertake your annual MOT test, make sure to look out for the symbol of accredited companies: the three blue triangles motif. Mechanics must display this logo if they are registered to undertake MOT tests – and choosing an approved test centre to undertake your MOT is a legal requirement. With this in mind, look out for this logo before taking your car to a garage for its annual inspection.

Check for additional accreditation

In addition to the blue triangles logo, you should look for test centres with accreditations and memberships from other recognised agencies. In particular, you should make sure that any garage you book with for MOT services is a member of Checkatrade.com. This is one of the most widely recognised directories of trusted traders and is therefore a great place to look for reliable and reputable mechanics. You can also search for previous customer reviews via Checkatrade.com, which leads us onto our next tip!

Read previous customer reviews

When it comes to putting your car through its MOT, it’s vital that the mechanics in charge are the best of the best. This is the only way to make sure your vehicle has been inspected comprehensively by trained professionals. This is important for two main reasons. Firstly, it means that you can trust the  mechanics’ decision on whether your car is roadworthy or not. Secondly, it means that the mechanics in charge of the inspection won’t exploit you by charging for services you don’t need.

But, how do you know you’re working with trusted mechanics? Another simple yet highly effective way to find a car garage you can rely on is to read what previous customers have had to say. Other drivers will be able to offer insight into the service they received and share whether they would recommend the garage to others.

Of course, it’s not uncommon for companies to have one or two negative reviews; however, if the overwhelming majority of testimonials are less than pleasant, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Find out the garage’s policy on re-tests

Another top tip for finding an MOT near you is to check local companies’ policies for re-tests. Some garages – like us – offer free re-tests to ensure the decision made is the right one. When you work with a company that offers re-tests, you can rest assured that the mechanics in charge are fully committed to accurate results.

At P.E.T.S, we want to take the hassle out of MOT tests for our valued customers. We understand that being without your car can be hugely frustrating, which is why we offer a free re-test for cars that fail the initial test (within 14 days). This gives our mechanics additional time to really inspect your vehicle and make sure they’ve made the right decision.

Give your chosen car garage a call

Before you commit to a garage, it’s important to gauge their customer service. After all, if your car fails its MOT, you will need to work with the mechanics again for repair services. Finding a company that puts professionalism and customer satisfaction first will make this whole experience much easier and less stressful for you, so take the time to find a great company with impeccable service.

The easiest way to check how much your chosen test centre values customer service is to give them a call. If they are polite and friendly on the phone – great! If, on the other hand, the staff member you speak to is rude and unprofessional, it’s a good idea to look elsewhere. A company’s customer service may not be reflective of the service they offer, but it’s still not worth working with a business that doesn’t value its customers.

Compare quotes from a couple of garages

Before you put your car in for an MOT, make sure to get a quote from the garage. This can help you prepare for the costs associated with car servicing and make sure you’re prepared to pay. It will also give you an opportunity to compare quotes from other car garages near you to make sure you aren’t being overcharged. Comparing quotes from 2-3 test centres can help you figure out which fees are reasonable and which are too expensive.

Remember – while we all want to cut costs where we can, you can’t put a price on safety. If you’re quoted for an MOT test by a company offering exceptionally low prices, proceed with caution. After all, extraordinarily low prices could be a sign of poor service. To avoid a negative experience, double-check that the garage is an approved MOT test centre and make sure they have plenty of positive customer reviews.

Looking for an MOT test centre near you? Make P.E.T.S your top choice

For the best car services across Portsmouth and Petersfield, look no further than P.E.T.S. We’re an approved MOT test centre with highly-skilled mechanics and competitive rates, not to mention a whole range of car services for every customer. Whether you’re looking for an MOT test centre or you require car tyre repair, make us your go-to car garage in Portsmouth.

For more information about our services or for a free, no-obligation quote, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly mechanics today.