the mot test
motorists have a duty to keep their vehicles in roadworthy condition when they are being used on public roads. carried out on vehicles once they have reached three years old, the mot test ensures that vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards. there are different rules for vehicles being used as taxis.
Classes 1 and 2 (class 1 engine size up to 200 cc): For scooters and motorcycles.
Class 3: For three-wheeled vehicles up to an unladen weight of 450 kg.
Class 4: Class 4 MOT tests are undertaken on cars and light commercial vehicles up to a weight of three tonnes. This is the most popular form of MOT test
Class 5: for vehicles with more than 13 passenger seats
Class 5A: includes seat belt installation check on vehicles with 16 or more passenger seats
Class 7: For goods vehicles over 3,000 kg and up to 3,500 kg DGW.
MOT Testing Facilities
All MOT test stations are required to have designated test bays where the authorised test inspectors conduct the test. They use a range of equipment that meets the required specification for MOT testing and the standard test procedures are laid out in an inspection manual that the test station should make available on request.
Some test centres now operate using the latest Automated Testing Lane (ATL) MOT facilities. The ATL, which can be operated by just one accredited technician, features everything from emission testing to suspension checking equipment and direct online links to the DVLA's vehicle licensing headquarters in Swansea.
You can watch the test from a designated viewing area but you are not allowed to interrupt the tester while he is working. All MOT testers have been on a training course with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and their test results are checked regularly.
The MOT Test
Today's MOT is comprehensive to say the least covering virtually all aspects of your vehicle's operation. This is to ensure that key legal requirements are met at the time of the test. Your vehicle's bodywork and structure will be inspected to examine whether there is excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas and that there are no sharp edges which may cause injury.
MOT testers will check your vehicle's fuel system to look for any sign of leaks and that the fuel cap fastens and seals securely. If the cap is lockable ensure that the key is available so that the tester is able to unlock it at the time of the test.
To pass the MOT test your vehicle must meet the requirements for exhaust emissions, dependant on its age and fuel type. The exhaust system should be secure, complete and without any serious leaks. Its silencer must also be effective.
Inside your vehicle all seatbelts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security, and all compulsory seat belts must be in place. The front seats must be secure and the front and rear backseats should be secured in the upright position before the test takes place.
During the test the doors must be latched securely in the closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle while the rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items. The boot or tailgate can be secured in the closed position. There must be the minimum number of mirrors on the vehicle (door mirrors and internal mirror) and their condition and security must reach the required standard.
Another vitally important part of your vehicle is its braking system and their condition, operation and performance will be efficiency tested as part of the MOT test. A rolling road will be used during brake testing.
Tyres are the only contact that our vehicles have with the road surface and so their condition, security, size, type and tread depth will be inspected. However, the spare tyre will not be included in this check.
The condition and security of vehicle registration plates is also included within the MOT, with characters having to be correctly formed and spaced to ensure a pass. Your vehicle's lights will be checked to ensure that they are all working just as they should, with headlights being inspected to make sure that their beam settings are correct. The MOT testers will use specialist beam setting equipment for this task.
The testers will also be looking to see that your vehicle's bonnet can be securely fastened and that windscreen wipers and washers operate efficiently to provide the driver with a clear view ahead. The windscreen itself will also come in for scrutiny as the testers will be looking carefully for any signs of cracks and chips, or indeed anything that could obscure the driver's view.
Your vehicle's steering and suspension systems will be checked to make sure that they are in satisfactory operating condition. Even its horn will be tested to discover whether it works as it should and is of a suitable type for the vehicle.
Vehicle Identification Plates (VIN) have been fitted to all vehicles first used on or after August 1st 1980. Not more than one different VIN should be displayed except on a multistage-build vehicle.
Once your vehicle has passed its MOT you will be given a test certificate which will confirm that at the time of the test, without dismantling it, the vehicle met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. However, it doesn't mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the length of time the certificate is valid. The MOT certificate is also no guarantee of the general mechanical condition of your vehicle. The test doesn't cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox.
If your vehicle has failed the test, you'll be given a failure document. The maximum fee for a duplicate test certificate is £10.00 or half the full test fee if less. For more information on the MOT test log onto www.directgov.uk