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Possible MOT Rip-Off

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Guys. This is just a tale regarding an MOT I had done at a local garage. I've just put facts in - which I can back up with documentation - the original MOT, the 2nd garages MOT and all correspondence


On the 30th January I took my car into a local garage for its MOT. On arriving to pick up the car I was quoted £550.

With regards to the quote the mechanic said he could do it for a lot less which made me want a second opinion. So off I went


On taking it to a second garage we were told that there was hardly anything wrong with the vehicle. A couple of things needed fixing but the car was not in need of a new exhaust – as the local garage had stated - it merely needed re-aligning. The calliper did not need replacing – just a new washer was needed. The icing on the cake though was the apparent ‘braking system leaking’. According to the 2nd garage this was very suspicious as it looked incredibly ‘fresh’. I cannot prove this in any way however


After hearing this I wrote a letter to the local garage.


After giving it 2 months I called the head office. The area manager called me back and claimed that he had ‘written back to me in September’. This in spite of the fact that I had not written in until February. Apparently my letter must have been ‘lost in the post’ and that ‘it had addressed all of my concerns’. I asked if we could discuss the contents of the letter and admittedly he was happy to do so. According to his version of events he had spoken to the staff in the garage and ‘I am happy with the staff...they have worked there for a long time and I cannot believe that anything untoward will have gone on...I am happy for you to come in and discuss this with them...’ The fact I had a friend with me the whole time made no difference. ‘These guys wouldn’t do something like that...I have known them a long time.’ I then asked the manager to re-send me the correspondence he had originally sent. He had to take my address down again as he had 'forgotten it'. I never received this response and so after waiting another 2 months I contacted the local garage once again.


The operations executive then suggested that we meet to discuss my experience with them. I went to the office on the 8th July where they asked me to identify which mechanic I had dealt with. The guy was present and I identified him. The area manager and the Operations exec then proceeded to usher me from the building and said that they would be in touch.


To conclude they then sent me a letter claiming to have looked into it and found no wrong doing. And sent me a £20 voucher!



I've written to trading standards who have made a note and will be watching out for any 'activity' from this garage. Unfortunately I trusted their internal complaints procedure and waiting for them meant I missed my chance to go to VOSA.

Edited by Rooster-UK
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Of course its correct. I've got better things to do than make all this up. I have evidence of all documentation too. ;-)

Edited by Rooster-UK
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Did [EDIT] they give you an MOT fail sheet and did you pay them anything for the MOT?

Edited by Rooster-UK
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I guess it failed on exhaust and brakes. Now your guy agreed that there was a fault with the exhaust and the brake caliper. Both garages identified these faults but had different remedies. The braking system leak was also identified by both garages and they both would have repaired it in the same way (probably). However you are implying that the original garage actually caused the leak but unfortunately you have absolutely no way of proving this. You actually got the work done that was needed and I think you are just going to have to let it go and move on. Use the £20 voucher to buy some oil or screenwash from them; £20 is £20 after all.

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Hey Geoff. it failed on:


1) Offside reg plate lamp not working - this was working

2) Offside headlamp aim too low - apparently just an adjustment was needed

3) nearside headlamp aim too low and too far to right - as above

4) Centre exhaust has a mounting that it does not fully support the exhaust system - just a clamp was broken

5) Offside front 9at claiper) brake system leaking - 2 copper washers were needed and the leak was very fresh. looked like it had been tampered with


I see what your saying. It wasn't the MOT that riled me but the company as a whole. The handled it terribly. Sent the voucher back ;-). I certainly won't be using them again. This is just a headsup for everyone else. Beware

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi itxrd.


Sorry it's taken so long to sort. I have been chasing admin.every few days.

Finally had the go ahead, so your thread is re-enabled.


Regards, Rooster.

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No worries - thanks Rooster


Just one point is that the garage is a chain and not 'local' as such. Wouldn't want independants getting a bad name

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No 5 really concerns me. From what it says, it looks like a joint was leaking and to cure it a second copper washer has been added. That is not the way to do it and potentially very dangerous.

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A 'banjo' type connection between the hose and the caliper requires sealing washers where the bolt passes through.


As for the headlamps 'apparently just an adjustment was needed', that is the usual method of re-aligning them. It may sound trivial to fail the car on that, but the powers that be have made it a testable item. Mis-aligned headlamps are a at best a nuisance at worst a safety issue, and if the tester went round replacing bulbs/wipers and re-aligning headlamps without failing the car, VOSA would be extremely unhappy as it would distort their statistics. They monitor what each staion fails cars on and if they fail too many things such as tyres they will phone up and ask why? and do you fit tyres?


Their latest, is to leave a car for a pre-booked test out of hours (no one sees the customer), with a sat nav holder on the screen or an oversized air freshener dangling from the rear view mirror to purposefully restrict the drivers view of the road. In VOSAs view the tester would be in the wrong to pass the car.

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If it was a banjo, then yes that would require two. Cheers j.


Just for your info itxrd, no repairs are allowed during a test and headlight adjustment is a repair, the same as an empty windscreen washer bottle is a failure and that is only a refill.

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But Conniff you forget that it's at the testers discretion and opinion. Accordingly, yes he should fail it but you have to be reasonable, hence the discretion and opinion.


Another reason why the test shold br carried out like HGV's, tis either right or wrong but I can see the fall out.


The whole system needs overhauling. Lets take for example ABS. If an ABS light is on all it indicates is a failure of the electronics for the anti lock system but this does not mean the brakes do not work correctly.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm a tester and i think your wrong in saying it was a fresh leak how can you judge that because brake fluid is relatively clear! No he shouldnt of adjusted headlamps he should of failed it but its a hassle failing it then prs it (which means will be repaired straight away) then retesting it when you could of logged on another mot in the mean time i do it myself trouble is you should be failing so many headlamp alignments to how many tests you do as a percentage anyway hope ya got it sorted!!

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Have to agree with the poster above.

whilst it's an easy fix, why *should* the garage be fixing small items for free?


that said, I'd had small things like this fixed for free by a garage before, and they've just advised me when I've come to pick up the car, this is your original fail,

but then we put a bulb in and adjusted the headlight and here's your pass.


a simple action like that made me go back because I had received exceptionally good service.


(I don't go back there any more based on two other experiences from separate people who've had their cars mangled there, but that's a different story).

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