Tinkering with the mot test

  mark2 19:37 21 Jul 2011

to align us with the rest of Europe, they're at it again.

The Governmants review into changing from the current 3 – 1 – 1 MOT testing to 4 – 2 – 2 sequence (to align us with our European neighbours) is about to begin. The Transport Research Laboratory send the likely increase in road deaths would be between ’1 and 30 per year’ contradicting a previous report that said 400 road deaths were likely. The proposed cost saving to motorists is unlikely to be seen as the cost of the MOT test would be increased and the increase in accidents would raise insurance costs yet again. from http://blog.motasoft.co.uk/archives/33 Are we seeing politics replacing safety?

As a Mot tester I see vehicles on a daily basis that are dangerous to drive. Many people seem to think mot garages use the mot test to generate work, perhaps some, like fast fit centres working on commission do. all the testers I know take their jobs seriously and are committed to testing according to the rules laid down by Vosa , the rules are actually minimum safety and emissions standards, far lower than manufacturers service standards.

For many drivers of cars past the 1st mot, the mot replaces the service nowadays, I also see a number of ex reps chariots at 100,000 mls at the first Mot. If you would like some further information see http://www.facebook.com/MOTTesting?sk=info

  morddwyd 20:27 21 Jul 2011

I repeat my old mantra - it's drivers who should have an annual test after three years, not vehicles!

  Bald Eagle 20:40 21 Jul 2011

One good thing with the Controle Technique here in France is that you have a sticker on your windscreen saying when the next test is due. A downside to the 2 year interval is that things can go wrong in two years. I've passed my IAM test in England and I'm always on top of the mechanical state of my car. However, even though I've 9 months on my CT to run I was concerned about my handbrake operation. I've finished up with all new discs and one new caliper. So personally I think 2 years is too long. Also you have to have a minimum of 18 months left on the CT if you sell a car.

  Covergirl 08:29 22 Jul 2011

Hmmm . . . ! Just searched and found what 4 2 2 and 3 1 1 mean and I don't think it will ever happen.

4 1 1 sounds like a good compromise though. Or even 5 1 1. Apart from accident damage and wear due to high mileage, surely a 5 year old car is likely to fly through an MOT with no problems ? Discuss (if you want).

  mark2 09:13 22 Jul 2011

Many 1st tests at 3yrs fail on simple items that the driver should check, lights, tyres, wipers etc. However even at relatively low mileage I've found steering and suspension items faulty. I've had tyres worn enough to expose the steel cords, tyres badly underinflated.

Headlamps are another favourite, bulbs blown or replaced incorrectly, I expect many of us have approached a parked car to pass it with a one eyd monster coming from the other direction, especially when it is the drivers headlamp out, in fog you could mistake it for a m/cycle approaching, with perhaps disastrous results.

Too many drivers fail to perform even basic checks on a regular basis, when an Mot is completed they expect the car to be good for the next year without any repairs required.

An mot only checks basic safety items at the time of the test, any minor item could fail once you've left the test station.

An example being a brake lights, passed on the mot, but when turning the vehicle around for the customer one had failed.

Until drivers accept responsibilty and make regular checks of their vehicles I feel 4-2-2 is a step too far.

Education will be the answer, but you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink,

  wiz-king 09:16 22 Jul 2011


No way! Many MOT would-be failures are fixed at the test by the tester, blown bulbs, wiper blades, no water in the washers etc. Too many people now think a once a year service will keep their car 'safe' for a year and don't bother to check the car. How many 'one eyed Susan's' do you see pulling up at traffic lights with only one brake light or side lights that go out when the brake light or headlight comes on.

  carver 09:24 22 Jul 2011

Personally I would prefer it if the first test was at 2 years never mind 4, the amount of drivers who regard the test as the one time of the year they need to have work done on a car to make it safe is bad enough now, never mind making it every 2 years.

My wifes 4x4 has just passed it's MOT with an advisory that a bottom ball joint and track rod end may need replacing at the next test, if the test was 2 years away then by that time the car could be very dangerous to drive.

Last year I was advised that 2 of the brake pipes had started to corrode, not bad enough to fail but they might need replacing for the next test, I did replace them straight away but how many car drivers will just leave them just to save a few pounds because the next test is over 2 years away and they think they will have got rid of the car before that test is due.

All I can think of is the amount of cars that fail now every year because of a lack of maintenance, leave them a further 12 months and they do then become death traps.

  Quickbeam 09:43 22 Jul 2011

I'm in the annual test from new camp the same as commercials do for the reasons given in the above posts.

  Chegs ®™ 10:44 22 Jul 2011

My cars just failed its MOT,nothing I cant fix but I was surprised at how many minor things are needing attention.One of the disadvantages to getting older(me,not the car)is I cannot get underneath my car to check for rust(usually MOT failures on my manufacturers cars with the last 2 I've had have been corroded sills)I'm glad my Dad bought me a MIG welder for my birthday instead of the usual car,as I'd already bought my 1st Mini and it needed lots of welding.My 1st Mini had lots of plates welded over plates but as it looks very unsightly,I quickly learnt to cut out rusty metal completely & then fashion a plate the same shape as the hole & carefully weld-in the repair,then grind off excess weld & paint.Thus my 2nd Minis bodywork was in pristine condition(better than new ones according to the MOT testers)

I wish cars needed MOT testing from brand new as I find most of the cars with badly adjusted lights that blind oncoming traffic are wearing the latest number plate,excluding the "cyclops" that think they're a motorcycle,certain brands of car have more lighting problems than others.I once had a headlight fail on my taxi & was pulled over by the police before I'd even realised myself and told to get it fixed there & then(not a problem,I carried spares in the glovebox)yet the officer totally ignored several cars that passed with disco lights as they braked(indicator/reversing light/single brake light combinations)some of which I saw regularly for weeks after.A pet peeve of mine are the cruisers who buy blue/green etc bulbs for their headlights,& change the bulbs to normal variety for its MOT then swap it straight back over once the certificate is obtained.I've also wondered why years ago,the MOT test was the same price regardless of garage I used whereas now it can vary from £38 to £50 depending on where I go.

  Aitchbee 11:12 22 Jul 2011

My first car was a silver OPEL Manta berlinetta. (I wish I could show you some photos). When it passed it's final MOT it was a legally roadworthy vehicle. One year later it was a rust-bucket. Cars of a certain age should be chucked in the bin for safety reasons.

  Covergirl 11:31 22 Jul 2011

I can do nothing but agree with all the above comments about problems that can occur on any car. I was just thinking about my own circumstances with a low annual mileage. Yes, I often see newish cars with one bulb out and think the manufacturer must use cheap bulbs, but it can happen to the best bulb I suppose.

I would still prefer not to go through the MOT, but c'est la vie. It's just another of lifes hurdles to jump - until I win the lotto and can afford a new car every year. :)

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