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A guide to MOT Part-1

Permit to Travel Published: 21st Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

A guide to MOT Part-1
A guide to MOT Part-1 What it’s all about – car age shouldn’t hinder a pass
A guide to MOT Part-1

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Dan Bindon takes you through the finer points of getting your classic MoT’d – Part 1

It comes around once every year, and in truth, should be welcomed by any car owner as a verification of their classic’s status as a well-maintained icon of motoring history. More often gaining an MoT pass means nervous anticipation, frustration and a certain degree of painful expenditure. But it shouldn’t be like that. If you choose to run an older car, which by definition is more simple than the complex modern transportation devices seen rushing around our highways, then ensuring it meets the specific points of compliance with the MoT scheme, should be a pleasurable part of ownership. So why isn’t it? To understand the MoT test, we have to consider that the UK is pretty much alone amongst nations in having a vehicle safety scheme administered not by Government agency, such as the TuV in Germany, but by commercial interests – the garages that do car repairs. Lobbying by the motor trade back in the late 1950s and early 1960s resulted in the creation of this situation, and when the MoT was introduced, as now, it is only designed to be a bare-minimum inspection. Consider that a component should fail a test when it is within its final five per cent of life, and you get the idea how lax the test really is. But that doesn’t mean we want our cars to be at the end of their lives – rather, we should continue to maintain them to the highest levels so that future generations can enjoy them in the way we do. It’s difficult to mimic the full test at home, as even the best-equipped home workshops won’t have the accurate brake test equipment needed to measure brake effort for the test. But there’s plenty you can do to ensure you don’t get caught out. Follow each category heading and inspect – and rectify – your car so that you stand the best chance of gaining that all-important VT 20 pass sheet – though now it’s not a legal document – the electronic record held by VOSA is.

    Failure rates since MoTcomputerisation


  • Lighting & signalling 23%
  • Brakes             23%
  • Suspension             18%
  • Tyres             10%
  • Emissions             9%
  • Drivers view of the road     7%
  • Steering             3%
  • Body             3%
  • Seatbelts             3%


In law, if you bring your car to an MoT test you have a responsibility as the ‘Vehicle Presenter’. You must present the vehicle in a safe and clean manner, fit to be tested.

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