I used to have friendly Testers who would issue a Pass Cert because they trusted me to carry out necessary repairs before giving the car back to the customer/owner.
I think legitimate high street garages will adhere to the rules because its their reputation at stake and also the testers job, but back street garages Hmmm! I'm sure MOT's get passed out a bit too easily.
Also MOT's are mandatory on cars over 3 years old but aren't really worth the paper they are written on, you can't go into a court 2 months later and say yes my car is roadworthy, I have an MOT. Its only really valid for the time its being MOT'd and just before it leaves the MOT station, after that its pretty much a piece of scrap paper.
I find it ironic that you need an MOT to prove the car is worthy of being driven on the road but you can't use it to prove your car is roadworthy because just because you have an MOT and that in order to get insurance and tax you need an MOT.
I'm I correct in this view or have I got it all screwed up?
Last edited by darkan9el; 07-05-14 at 10:21.
The purpose of the MOT is to ensure that at least one day each year, every car conforms to a minimum standard in respect of a long list of safety and environmental criteria. As far as a buyer is concerned, a recent MOT (assuming that it is an honest one) is at the very least an indicator of the car's roadworthiness. An unscrupulous dealer can do many things to mislead a buyer and 'dodgy' MOTs are just one.
When you say; "I find it ironic that you need an MOT to prove the car is worthy of being driven on the road but you can't use it to prove your car is roadworthy because just because you have an MOT and that in order to get insurance and tax you need an MOT." I have trouble understanding what you mean. When do you ever have to prove in court that your car is roadworthy, other than by producing a valid MOT certificate.
What I mean is an MOT is both a required certificate and a certificate that has no value with regards to law in regard to roadworthiness. An MOT is proof that your car is roadworthy for less than 1 day after its been issued, its only valid up to the point you drive it out of the MOT station.
I would assume most people would think that because an MOT lasts for a year, that it indicates the roadworthiness of a vehicle for that year. but that is not the case, you cannot use an MOT as proof of a vehicles roadworthiness. The MOT station has no comeback, no guarantee, you can't sue an MOT station if after a vehicle has been inspected it is deemed unroadworthy and that is why you crashed because the MOT station would just say it is only an indication that the vehicle is roadworthy on the day of testing. This effectively makes the MOT invalid as a document of roadworthiness for the rest of the 364 days of the year.
On the back of an MOT certificate:
An MOT test pass confirms that, when the vehicle was examined in accordance with section 45 of the road traffic act 1988, it met the minimum legal requirements for those items prescribed under the act. It does not mean that the vehicle fully meets all legal requirements or that it will continue to be roadworthy for the next year. It is your responsibility to keep the vehicle maintained so that it would always meet MOT standards and be free from other defects.
An MOT is just to prove that on a particular day your vehicle was deemed roadworthy and it kind of makes a mockery of road safety for the 364 days afterwards because potentially many vehicles can develop dangerous defects that are not repaired, either bacause the owner isn't aware of the defect or because they take a chance i.e. getting the most out of brake pads. Then we venture into all the legal consequences of any incident caused by such defects but one thing is for sure an MOT cannot be used to prove roadworthiness.
My Head hurts now lol!
Interesting thread. If I had a car that had only done 15000 miles in 5 years it would have light wear but will have been tested twice. If I was a rep and had a car 2 years and had done 80,000 miles it would not have had an MOT and possibly skipped services due to being needed for work. It may have been serviced by a dealer properly and in theory may be spot on mechanically but how much more wear is there in moving parts in that car? As mentioned the MOT is only an annual check and may even be done missing a vital part of the checks. I some Euro countries the MOT, as it is there, is every 2 years. The question here really is would you rather be safer having your car checked at least annually or carry on driving with a serious fault? Prevetative maintenance ie regular servicing will usually ensure a pass every year. BBC showed a feature yesterday about MOT's and most of the time failures were due to everyday things such as illegal tyres, worn wiper blades, empty washer bottles and bulbs out. All these should be daily or at least weekly checks. One man said he never looks under the bonnet!! I have never had a car fail an MOT in the past 40 years, because I look after them.
It may well be the case, that a two-year-old, 80,000 mile car, would be in better condition than the five-year-old 15,000 mile car. The cam belt and several other vital parts would have been routinely replaced on the high mileage example, while the tyres and some other components on the low mileage car will have come to the end of their service life without necessarily showing signs of wear. Not to mention that driving at the speed limit on a motorway is less stressful than constant short journeys in heavy traffic.
"I would assume most people would think that because an MOT lasts for a year, that it indicates the roadworthiness of a vehicle for that year. but that is not the case, you cannot use an MOT as proof of a vehicles roadworthiness."
I don't agree: I think most people understand that things deteriorate with time and sometimes fail without warning, and that the MOT is simply a 'snapshot' once a year. The existence of an MOT cert is no guarantee of roadworthiness, but its absence is a good indication that something is amiss!
The system was introduced to ensure that all (older) cars are inspected periodically. The requirement to do it annually rather than more frequently is inevitably a compromise between maximum safety on the one hand and expense and inconvenience on the other.
That is my point entirely. You cannot distinguish what is worn or not. Many think that 15000 miles is the first service time. Just because it passed a few MOTs doesn't make it roadworthy.
Originally Posted by Santa
The dealer I bought my car from refused to carry out the MOT himself as he was worried he would be accused of passing it illegally. The nuisance was I had to wait a week for him to get an MOT at a different garage before I could buy it.
I used to MOT my own cars which was permissable. But it didn't stop snide remarks and other comments. So I took them to another test station just to keep everyone off my back.