If you've ever owned a 3+-year-old-vehicle in the UK, you'll have booked an MOT. It's one of the biggest necessary evils of car ownership and something most drivers have to grin and bear every year.

But, since 2020, drivers who have an MOT due between August and January have found it even more stressful. 

This means that drivers should think about booking their MOT appointment in advance to ensure they get the date and time they want.


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Why Are MOT Test Centres So Busy?

The autumn and winter months have always been a busy time for test centres. September is particularly challenging, as a huge number of new cars are registered every year.

For example, there were 2.8 million tests completed in September 2019 but a whopping 3.5 million in September 2020 as a result of the MOT extension

Using data sourced from the DVSA, we’ve shown the difference in the number of MOTs completed in 2019 vs 2022:


Month 2019 MOTs 2022 MOTs Increase/Decrease % Change
July 2,551,106 2,443,063 -108,043 down by 4%
August 2,408,715 2,773,113 +364,398 up by 13%
September 2,841,511 3,306,584 +465,073 up by 14%
October 2,634,718 3,251,473 +616,755 up by 19%
November 2,222,476 3,078,860 +856,384 up by 28%
December 1,662,808 2,243,020 +580,212 up by 26%
January  2,475,036 (in 2020) 2,956,066 (in 2023) +481,030 up by 16%

Average monthly increase = 465,115 more tests vs the same period in 2019


BookMyGarage branded graph showing change in class 4 MOT test between 2019/20 and 2022/23


To put things into perspective, 3.3 million MOTs split between 23,157 test centres averages out at 143 tests each. That's 143 workshop hours (just under 18 8-hour days).

Around 30% of those vehicles would have failed their MOT, which equates to just under 1 million failures & retests in September alone. That's another 43 hours of work (5.4 8-hour days), excluding time for the repairs themselves. For every test centre in the UK. 

That's about 23 1/2 full working days. There were only 22 weekdays during September 2022. 

Clearly, the main problem for test centres is that there aren't enough hours in the day - which creates problems for drivers.


What Does This Mean For Drivers?

Now, that amount of work simply isn't sustainable, especially for small independent garages. Many garages on our UK comparison site are run by small teams with 1 or 2 registered MOT testers. They don't have the capacity to complete 143 MOTs in a month, so they make it harder for customers to book an appointment.

That means that trying to book your MOT at the last minute is going to be very, very difficult.

Welcome to the MOT Rush. As it's going to make booking an appointment very difficult for the next few years, how can you make sure you get the test you need on the date you want?


What Can You Do To Beat the MOT Rush?

The best way to beat the MOT Rush is to book your appointment well in advance. If your MOT is due between August and January 2023/24, you should think about booking your appointment in June or July to avoid scrapping for slots.

With BookMyGarage, you can book an appointment up to a year in advance in just 3 steps. Enter your vehicle reg and postcode to compare instant deals and secure your MOT slot in advance to beat the MOT Rush today.


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Think that this seems a bit extreme? Not worried about finding a slot if you leave it to the last minute because "you know a guy" or you're mates with your local mechanic? Even if you do manage to get a slot at short notice, you definitely won't pay the best price!

Plus, you'll just make your life so much more difficult than it needs to be.

Here are three killer reasons why we think that booking your MOT in advance is your best move this year.


Here Are Three Reasons Why You Should Book Your MOT Right Now


Price Freeze

Garages know they're likely to be overwhelmed by the demand for MOTs between August and January for the next few years. They also know they're going to struggle to drum up enough MOTs during April and May to break even.

So, they're going to drop their prices during the slower months and make their MOTs more expensive when they're full to capacity. 

In previous years, we have seen garages start to raise their MOT prices in late July/early August to deter customers from overwhelming them even further. We expect the same this year.

With the cost of living as high as it is, it makes sense to book your MOT in advance at the best price. After all, once you make a booking through BookMyGarage, that price is fixed and you never pay a penny until after the garage has completed your test.

Compare deals near you and take advantage of booking a great price on your MOT today.


Guarantee Your Slot

In previous years, we have also seen garages on our comparison site increase their lead times to make booking a last-minute MOT difficult for customers. Some were so full that their lead times were 30 days for MOT appointments - or even longer!

What's more, most drivers have their vehicle sit the MOT test 14-30 days before its expiry date and make the booking a week before that. Under normal circumstances, this gives a stress-free experience - but not during the MOT Rush.

If you don't book your MOT well in advance, you'll have to fight with thousands of other drivers for precious few test slots in your area. This means it could be very difficult for you to get an appointment before your expiry date.

There's no need to enter this lottery. Get ahead of the game and book the date and time you want well in advance to avoid any problems.


Avoid a Stressful Process

If you book your MOT through BookMyGarage right now, you get a confirmed booking in just 3 steps. 

That's not an enquiry to the garage; that's an actual MOT test booked straight into your preferred test centre's diary on the date you want. 

As we mentioned above, that's not going to be easy to do the closer you get to your expiry date.

Here's how to book your MOT through our leading comparison site:

  1. Enter your vehicle reg and postcode.
  2. Compare deals. You can sort garages in your area by whatever best suits your needs: price, distance, reviews and ratings or availability.
  3. Pick a date and time for your appointment.

It's as simple as that. Plus, if you book your appointment today, you can save up to 70% by comparing deals and choosing one of the lower-cost MOTs.

It definitely won't be that easy in a couple of months' time.


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What if I Forget?

Worried that you’ll forget when your MOT is even due? We’ve got the perfect solution for you.

When you complete your booking, you can opt-in to our MOT reminder service by ticking the box on the checkout page. We'll send you three personalised emails, with the first one landing in your inbox 30 days before your MOT expiry date.

If you've forgotten you've booked your MOT already and enter your reg and postcode after following the prompt, you'll see a notification informing you that there's already a booking for your vehicle. 

Plus, we send you a confirmation email right after you've booked your appointment. We also let your chosen garage know about your appointment and they may also be in touch to confirm your booking too.

Why not check your MOT expiry date for free in a matter of seconds using our MOT checker? Simply enter your reg and postcode and we'll pull your vehicle's information straight from the DVSA database. You can then make a booking if your test is due.

Basically, we make it as easy as possible for you to remember about your booking.




Booking an MOT at the last minute between August and January is going to be virtually impossible due to the mad MOT Rush and the capacity problems local garages have. Don't let your MOT expire or stress over your test any more than you need to.

Book your MOT in advance with BookMyGarage today and get the peace of mind you deserve.

Plus, you guarantee your slot and benefit from a price freeze before garages increase their lead times and prices!


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