Expert car maintenance in Poole and Bournemouth
Continuously trading since 1953
The MOT test is one of those things that every driver in the country has to undergo at one time or another. An essential part of your vehicle’s service history, it is taken every year by all cars using the Queen’s highway that are over three years old. It is a legal requirement and ensures that all cars on Britain’s roads are safe to be there – not only for themselves, but for other drivers and pedestrians.
The name MOT is short for the Ministry of Transport, which was the government agency that instituted the test back in 1960, under the auspices of the Road Traffic Act 1956. Though the Ministry itself no longer exists (its function is now effectively filled by the Department for Transport) the name is still used both generally and officially. Since 2014, MOT test certificates are issued in the UK via the DVSA (the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency).
In short, the MOT test is a certificate of road-worthiness. An in-depth check of your vehicle's essential equipment is performed in order to determine that it is safe to be driven on the roads.
Any vehicle that fails its MOT test is not legally permitted to be driven on the road, other than to and from the testing centre, and to and from the place of repair. Even then, it is important to make sure that your insurer will cover you in such an eventuality.
At Car Maintenance Garages Ltd we are licensed and regulated by both the DVSA and the Department for Transport for the purpose of performing MOT tests. Likewise, our specialised mechanics who carry out these inspections are also certified and fully trained in the process.
The MOT check is much like our car service options, in that it covers a number of aspects of the car’s performance.
driver’s view of the road
fuel, exhaust, and emissions (electric cars are exempt from this)
structure, body, and general items (this includes such things as the car’s bodywork and components, including mirror housings, bumpers, and spoilers)
wheels and tyres
suspension and steering
signalling and lighting equipment
Some common points of failure include your windscreen wipers (as part of the driver’s view of the road section). They fail the test should they not sufficiently clear your windscreen when operated alongside the washers.
Your exhaust system will be checked for security and condition, but it is also checked for how noisy it is compared to another car of the same model and make. Excessive noise for the model can indicate more serious underlying issues.
Since an MOT check only confirms whether or not a car is roadworthy, most accessories are not inspected as part of the test. The only exception to this rule is the tow bar, which is inspected to the same standards as the rest of the vehicle.
If your vehicle passes its MOT test it will receive a certificate VT20, confirming the same. Should it fail, it will receive a certificate VT30, marking it as unroadworthy. Both of these outcomes will be logged in your vehicle’s service book for reference.
The decision to pass or fail any given vehicle is ultimately at the discretion of the testing mechanic, although they reach their decision by following the MOT guidelines which are issued by the DVSA.
At Car Maintenance Garages Ltd we pride ourselves on our strict adherence to the DVSA’s MOT guidelines, for the safety of our customers and others. If you disagree with our decision to pass or fail a given vehicle, you have the right to appeal that decision, by submitting an appeal request via the DVSA within 28 days of receiving your certificate.
If your vehicle passes the test this means that, at the time of testing, it met the minimum acceptable standards for road safety and the environment, as laid down by the DVSA. However, it does not mean that your car is in perfect condition, nor that it will remain classed as roadworthy for the duration of the certificate. If we spot areas of concern, we will mention them to you, and offer a quote for the work required to repair them, but you are under no obligation to do so, and your certificate will remain valid.
The full MOT inspection manual is available online and can be found at the DirectGov website. We are obliged, by law, to provide you with full details upon request, and are happy to do so.