Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
I am road legal again, only twelve days late.

When a fortnight ago I put my jalopy in for its test, the exhaust analyser at the test centre broke down. By then the MoT men were able to tell me the car needed a front bottom balljoint and a spot of welding.

When that had been done, the car went in for its test again. Everything major was OK, but there was a small leak from the return pipe union into the steering fluid reservoir, and the nearside front tyre had insufficient tread depth (after about 15,000 miles at most).

OK. Two new front tyres, bit of juggling with jubilee clips, leak fixed. So today the test centre had to go through the whole lot again. And they nearly failed it again because I hadn't cleaned all the power steering fluid off the things it had dripped on.

Tests now take twice as long as they did, with a lot of the time being taken up fiddling with the computer and getting a connection. The men constantly have to work out what the new rules mean, with much argument and discussion. They told me the latest change in the regulations came yesterday and had been 'in my favour'. Well, thanks, authorities!

But I don't understand how test centres can even break even, even if half the punters are paying £66 like me. Does that pay three guys for two hours? Not in this country it doesn't.

Memo to self: do it in good time next year.
Very boring MoT test thread - Aprilia
The men constantly have to work out
what the new rules mean, with much argument and discussion.


Take it somewhere where the tester knows what he's doing.
Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
Don't be so snooty, Aprilia.

The place I take my cars to has been doing MoTs for 20 years or more. They do a lot of tests, and very obviously know what they're doing. I have always found them strict on important matters, but not jobsworthish. They have never done any work on any of my cars (except once when the chief guy adjusted the mixture screw on one of my Skodas to get it through the emission test. He didn't charge).

I think the problem is this logging-on business, and frequent changes in the regulations. Is it your impression that testing takes no longer than it used to and the activity is a highly profitable one?
Very boring MoT test thread - Aprilia
I take a fair number of cars for MoT and in fact took a 2003 Polo for its first MoT yesterday (after fixing a split inner CV boot). I always take them to a friend of mine who've I've been using since 1989. He charges me £30 and its 45 mins in and out. No particular problems with the rules or anything else for that matter. He's had a few problems in the past, especially when computerisation came in (he was chosen as a 'pilot' VTS), but nothing that he's really moaned about.
The MoT system is good example of something that works well (there are not many other examples in the UK!). IIRC there are about 20000 VTSs and its a vocal few who moan about the system.
TBH it can't be very profitable and there are many in the trade (especially in the franchised sector I suspect) who are lobbying for a radical increase in the test fee. Its one of the few things in the motor industry that is actually good value for the customer.
Very boring MoT test thread - cheddar
In July took my bike in about three weeks early for it's MOT, the guy said that I would be lucky if they could forward date the new MOT to the expiry of the old one, they had lots of problems with the system and this was one of them. As it happened I was lucky and they were able to post date the new certificate. Likewise about a week later I took the wife's car in to another centre, I know them well, very on then ball, similar tales of woe about the MOT computerisation.

The MOT test can surely be profitable for the test centre if the vehicle owner allows the test centre to put right any items that require attention however there cannot be much in it for them with the likes of me who (on the wife's car and bike anyway) will always DIY. Therefore I guess it is down to the balance of different types of customer they get.
Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
I think you're right about the test being good value to the ignorant or slobbish car owner, even at full price. I guess yr friend charges you less because he knows the cars you take him will sail straight through. But even he takes 45 minutes, and I seem to remember it used to be half an hour if there were no major problems.

On the day my 13-year-old Escort was failed, a much newer, brightly shining (even under the bonnet) red Fiesta was tested. It looked so new and impeccable that the test would just be a formality, but half an hour later it was on a lift with one of the back brake drums off.
Very boring MoT test thread - pmh
Latest changes in the regulations..... see www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_roads/documents...p
this a rare occasion of a sensible update to the rules!


I suspect very few people actually pay the the full rate (altho Aprilia seems to have got a VERY good deal) and with the new rules we will find that the actual charges may go up, to ensure that garages maintain the income stream.

IIRC there is a fee increase in the pipeline anyway.


--

pmh (was peter)


Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
One of the things the men were arguing about this morning was whether a car could be driven between one test and the other.

One view was that only a minimal mileage should be allowed, and that if the car had been driven much the VOSA should be informed. The opposing view was that since no mileage was specified, nothing could be said either to the driver or the VOSA.

I don't think this was about me. I have been in a blue funk for 12 days expecting a summons for not displaying a proper road tax, and have tried to park the car with its nearside windscreen hidden behind trees etc, not using it at all except to go to the mechanic's and tyre fitter's establishments. .
Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
When my car is illegal, I feel guilty and paranoid. When it is damaged, broken or ailing, I feel hypochondriacal or actually ill.

So I am quite looking forward to feeling all right again when I recover from all this carp.
Very boring MoT test thread - martint123
Took one of my bikes in for a test last week.
24 quid and it took SIX minutes. The rest of the 20 minutes that the guy was logged onto the machine was taken up by him replacing a driveshaft on a car.
I reckon that the six minutes actually gave the bike a fairly good test. Brake meter front/back, headlight aim, all lamps checked. Tyres, wheel bearings, steering bearings, seat & pedal security, horn etc. A car at the same place take around 15 minutes.
Very boring MoT test thread - Aprilia
My mate has been charging me £30 since about this time last year. Currently he is charging £30 to all-comers and advertising it in the loca free paper. He tends to do this when business is a bit slacker and then up it to the full fee when demand is higher.
There are actually a couple of places not too far away who are offering the MoT for £25 - but knowing the people who work there I steer clear.

One thing that must be understood about 'computerisation' is that the computer doesn't do the test! Its only used to input the data. The loged-on timer is an 'encouragement' for the test to be done properly.
Very boring MoT test thread - Simon
Like Martin123, I took my bike for its first MOT the other day (its almost three years old). I was relieved of £23.80 for the priviledge, of what as far as I am concerned was only a formality. My bike is kept in tip top condition and was not going to fail on anything. I don't know how long I was actually there but the vast majority of the time was spent chatting and to be honest just wasting time. The actual test could have been done in around the six minute mark like Martin's was, but obviously the tester had got to abide by the technology and be logged on as testing for a certain length of time.

So what did that achieve? Not a lot in my opinion. Did the tester MOT my bike any better just because he had loads of time to spare? I don't think so, because he gave me the impression of being a thorough kind of man whether he was being timed or not. The only thing I do think is that because now he can only do so many MOT's in one day, and has to be logged on for so long when doing an MOT it has pushed the price of a bike MOT up. Everyone around my local area is charging the full fee of £23.80 for a bike MOT, I rung maybe 10 places or so, which covers a decent sized area as there aren't an awful lot of bike MOT testing stations. Last year I understand that £15 was more the normal price of an MOT around and about.

So to me, this system just makes the MOT process more expensive, and if anyone thinks that £23.80 is good value for money for basically six minutes of 'real' work and an A4 piece of paper for me to keep, then I think you must be having a laugh.
Very boring MoT test thread - Galaxy
As I pointed out when this subject last came up in the BR, the last time I took my car for it's MOT test, the first computerised one, it was sitting idle in the garage for at least 20 minutes while the staff did other things.

Mind you, the car was tested by two MOT testers, as opposed to a tester and an assistant, who worked simultaneously, and my car was given, in my opinion, a very thorough examination.

It's a pity that VOSA's testing criteria concerning the time taken for tests don't take this aspect into account. One tester takes 40 minutes, so, surely, two testers take 20 minutes, by my maths, anyway.


Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
Six minutes!

Almost makes me fancy a motorbike. But not quite.
Very boring MoT test thread - martint123
Mind you, the car was tested by two MOT testers, as opposed to a tester and an assistant, who worked simultaneously,

When I get my car MOT done at the same place, it's me who is the assistant, sat in and pressing pedals, switches and moving the steering left and right. I got chucked out on the brake test though as I didnt' know what it was testing and assumed an emergency stop type application was needed and nearly blew their brake tester up.
Very boring MoT test thread - Dalglish
But I don't understand how test centres can even break even,

>>

this is particularly so for the london and south-east counties where the rates, rent, insurance and labour costs are much higher than up north.

Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
I think you can say that again, Dalglish. This - I mean the place a mile and a half away out of town, sort of, where I go for MoTs - is certainly a high rent area although it doesn't look it. The people there are always decently informative, which I'm sure Aprilia will agree is the proper way to be. They point out that they can do work but there's no pressure.They're West London through and through but I've always liked them, and I'm quite critical in these matters.

My mechanic - I hesitate to say engineer - nodded approvingly, sort of, when I said who they were. It all adds up, to me anyway.
Very boring MoT test thread - Aprilia
If the MoT test is done thoroughly, by one tester, then it will take just about the time that VOSA allow. The time was arrived at by timing actual MoTs at a large number of VTS's
I know a lot of people on this forum like to take a shot at VOSA (if only on the basis that its a public service and linked to Government) however having met some of the VOSA staff I have to say that I've a lot of respect for them. A large number come from the auto industry and have massive 'real world' experience - they are not the 'seat warming civil servants' that feature so frequently in Daily Mail editorals. Nor are they involved in a conspiracy to wreck small car repair businesses.
30 years ago the MoT was done by an oik with a couple of hammers and a long screwdriver. Dodgy MoT's were common. Nowadays we have something that is doing a decent job of keeping death traps off the road and VOSA are coming down on the remaining testers who issue tickets without looking at the car or by 'overlooking' defects. Don't forget that many countries have far more stringent and expensive regimes (Japan, Germany, Scandinavia and even Spain come to mind) - the UK system is not a bad compromise.
Very boring MoT test thread - Number_Cruncher
>>the UK system is not a bad compromise

I tend to agree with this point of view.

If we are happy to spend, let's say £40 - £50 a year, and probably an hour or two off work, or of our free time having our coveted piece of tin looked at, why isn't the most sensitive, and most potentially dangerous component, the driver, given a bit of an annual test too?

Number_Cruncher
Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
d most potentially dangerous component,
the driver, given a bit of an annual test too?


I hope you don't mean to be offensive in any way NC.... But now you come to mention it, not a bad idea. In a way. Up to a point. Sort of.

How old are you actually NC? 40ish I bet.

(Lurches offstage in near-apoplexy)
Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
(Lurches back onstage gesticulating wildly)

And another thing! An hour or two off work!

Do me a favour!

A fortnight of completely unnecessary torture!

I suppose I must look a bit PFD to a lot of you shrewd self-disciplined chaps. I do to me anyway.
Very boring MoT test thread - Number_Cruncher
>>I hope you don't mean to be offensive in any way NC.... But now you come to mention it, not a bad idea. In a way. Up to a point. Sort of.

Sorry Lud, I wasn't intending to be at all offensive. It just occured to me that we insist on annually testing our cars after three years old, but we only give the hugely more valuable and potentially very dangerous driver a fairly cursory test when they first apply for a licence, and then let them get on with it for over 50 years in many cases.

At least for HGVs, you are given a medical before you get your provisional, and are then called back for another one when you are 45, and then more depending upon the quack's opinion of you. If you want to even walk on or near a railway line, you need to take a medical every 10 years (or sooner if the quack deems it appropriate).

For example, might it be a good idea to make sure drivers have regular, say 2 yearly, eye tests, with the DVLA informed of the outcome or prescription?

How old are you actually NC? 40ish I bet.

Not a bad guess.

>>(Lurches offstage in near-apoplexy)
>>(Lurches back onstage gesticulating wildly)

Oh dear - I didn't mean to upset you Lud - all this lurching about won't be doing you any good!

Number_Cruncher


Very boring MoT test thread - Aprilia
this is particularly so for the london and south-east counties where
the rates, rent, insurance and labour costs are much higher than
up north.


No one is forcing any garage to become a VTS. However there are plenty of them out there so I guess it must pay, one way or another.
Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
Mind you, the car was tested by two MOT testers, as
opposed to a tester and an assistant, who worked simultaneously,
When I get my car MOT done at the same place,
it's me who is the assistant, sat in and pressing pedals,
switches and moving the steering left and right.


What bliss martint. However this is the metropolis which takes itself seriously. The people I go to are more like that than most. But no, there are several of them and they don't want you bouncing your motor over the rollers into the pit....
Very boring MoT test thread - cheddar
most potentially dangerous component,
the driver, given a bit of an annual test too?


One one hand this make good sense, on the other it would raise stress levels possibly out doing the good, cant imagine worrying about not only the MOT tests for two cars and a bike but also the tests for wife and I, and if she failed I would have to take her to work, and how much would a retest be, can ball joints be reparied or replaced, not sure about welding that might hurt .......................
Very boring MoT test thread - Mookfish
I prefer the test centers where you are the assistant. I'm sure most on here do as well, as you get to see whats going on and have a look at anything that needs replacing. Very useful to get a look when the cars on the lift if your going to fix it yourself on axle stands at home.

The place I use now get me to drive the car onto the ramps, but not off them afterwards, as this is when they do the brake test. This year the tester backed it out of the brake tester with the help of me and one of the mechanics pushing it. I realy shouldn't have bought a 15 year old renault auto.
Very boring MoT test thread - aahbarnes
A car at the same place take around 15 minutes.


There is no way a car can be tested properly in 15 minutes, he must be missing stuff out. My MOT tester uses a very methodical approach and takes about 35 minutes with the rest on the PC.
Very boring MoT test thread - Round The Bend
Boringly (and happily) the Mondeo sailed through the MOT today. Took 65 mins, cost £35.

NB: I don't have a pet MOT tester. Never met the bloke who did the job before ; - )
_______
IanS
Very boring MoT test thread - Lud
Now that kind of boredom I can take. You are an example to me RTB.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car