01508 488441

Unit 10, Ashwellthorpe Industrial Estate,
Norwich, NR16 1ER

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Caroline’s Cars can confidently and professionally deal with the annual and often much feared MOT test. We endeavour to make the process simple and pain free. We offer a free, fully insured courtesy car and a collection and delivery service from your home or place of work. Alternatively of course, you can sit in our comfortable reception area and enjoy free refreshments!

For those of you who are interested in learning a little about what happens in the MOT test, Caroline has written the article below.

What is an MOT?

Introduced in 1960 for vehicles over 10 years old, the annual MOT inspection is a cause for concern for many motorists. This original test was very basic and covered lighting, steering and brakes. In April 1967 it was changed to include all vehicles over 3 years old. The letters MOT stand for Ministry of Transport who originally implemented the test. Although it is now run by government agency VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Standards Agency) the name has stuck.

Over the years, the test has become much more complex and now includes checks on components such as steering, suspension, lighting, brakes, seatbelts, wheels and tyres, drivers view of the road and of course the dreaded emissions test.

As of January 2012 and April 2012 further items have been added including certain warning lights such as headlamp main beam tell tail and SRS warning along with items such as battery security, and checks to the tow bar electrics. Other new failures include being unable to adjust the drivers seat, (previously it just needed to be secure) and rear doors be able to open from the outside (previously only the front doors had to open). For a comprehensive list of what’s testable on your car, follow this link to the VOSA tester’s manual.

Don’t be fooled however, that the issue of an MOT certificate means your car is safe. Only items in the inspection manual, known as testable items are able to be failed meaning that potentially dangerous faults will still be given a pass certificate. There is in fact a section on the MOT computer called non component advisories which allows a tester to advise of non failing items and to also tick a box if they are considered dangerous. And yes – the customer walks away with an MOT – crazy but true!

The poor condition many items have to be in to fail is also at times appalling and quite frankly scary. On my last refresher course our tutor told us to ‘leave our common sense outside’ and to be prepared that many items would be so worn out, we would be shocked. He then proceeded to show us items for assessment. As a class we unanimously failed them only to be informed all should receive a pass and an advisory notice.

Contrary to what many people believe, no checks are performed on the engine either (with the exception of checking its exhaust emissions) so buying a car with a years MOT doesn’t mean the engine isn’t about to blow up! Another common misconception is that the wheels are removed for the test, they are not which means only items of brakes that can be seen are tested, if you can’t see it you can’t fail it!

So all in all, although the MOT goes some way towards keeping cars in roadworthy condition, it still has serious shortcomings. The best way to keep your car safe and in good shape is to have it regularly serviced by a reputable garage, who will be able to give you honest advice as to its condition and inform you of faults before they become dangerous or more costly.

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