My answer to What is checked during a Vehicle Roadworthiness test?
Answer by Desmond Last:
As a U.K Department of Transport Vehicle Examiner I used it teach car mechanics how to carry out the annual roadworthy test. I also used to check the Testing Stations.
The annual test is the to legal minimum standard. To obtain maximum safety the vehicle should comply to the manufactures specification.
Your vehicle should exceed the legal minimum standard. The minimum standard applied by the MOT is the legal minimum not the ‘best condition’.
Example. Your car will pass its test with all four tires on the legal minimum. This could cause poor braking and handling in the wet. Your vehicle can pass its test with the brake pads on their minimum acceptable thickness but your brakes could fade quicker under heavy braking.
The teat is carried out once a year. The certificate that is issued only applies to the vehicle condition when it is tested.
If somebody says to you ‘look its in good condition it has 6 months MOT’ that means absolutely nothing. It just means that the vehicle has a current certificate – it does not mean that the brakes or tires are legal.
Some vehicles are exempt from the MOT.
When you buy a car, buy it with 12 months MOT or get an AA inspection.
You can take your vehicle to a testing station without a certificate but it must still be roadworthy and have a valid insurance certificate. You must make a recorded appointment if you are to drive your vehicle to the MOT testing station.
You will have to get your vehicle put on a tow truck to be taken to the MOT station for its MOT if you do not have insurance.
In the U.K older vehicles are not required to have a test but they are still required to meet all current and applicable Construction and Use Regulations.
The Vehicles Systems are all checked. Lights. Steering. Seat Belts. Body Structure, Emissions, Exhaust, Structural Integrity and unauthorized modifications.
Any aftermarket parts must be EC compliant. If you modify your vehicle you may have changed its braking and or steering characteristics. You may be required to obtain an engineers certificate.
Noisy exhausts will fail. Your vehicle must sound no louder than the OEM exhaust.
OEM – Original Equipment Manufactures.
The best way to ensure your vehicle is going to pass is to ask the local service station to carry out a serves. It will save you money of you can service your car and have it tested at the same time.
You can in the U.K check to see the status of a Vehicles MOT before you buy it.
Should your fail the test you must ensure your insurance will still cover you if you have an accident. Any major defect could result in an accident or prosecution.
The law does not have any exemption for any vehicles that are not roadworthy.
The best way to ensure your vehicle is going to pass is to ask the local service station to carry out a service. It may save you money if you can service your car and have it tested at the same time.