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General and technical information concerning every aspect of UK MOT testing.
Get the fundamentals of your vehicle checked by professional mechanics with standard testing kits.
Get you car oil and engine checked to meet the legal standards of environment safety and car performance.
Get an in-depth check-up of your vehicle for any defective components, clogged filters, and warning lights.
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Mot Tester Training
This is a 3 day mandatory course for prospective MOT Testers. It has been designed to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for those involved with the testing of vehicles in test classes III, IV, and VII. Existing MOT Testers may also benefit from this trainin3 Day course content
• Supporting legislation / regulations
• Tools for the job
• Reasons for refusing to start a test
• Use of manual
• Standards and procedures
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From Our Blog
Buying a carPros
- Low-interest rates when buying on finance
- Free warranties for a certain amount of time for your peace of mind
- No restrictions on mileage or wear and tear on the car
- You can modify the car however you like
- The purchase can be used as tax deductions if bought through a scheme at work
- New cars can lose as much as 40% of their purchase value within the first year
- Driving costs for new cars can be high due to fuel, insurance and maintenance costs
- You may be locked into long repayment terms
- Selling the car can take a while
- If you buy a new car then you may have a long wait time while it’s delivered from the factory
Leasing a carPros
- Paying the lease amount on time, every month can be a great way to improve your credit score.
- Lease payments are usually lower than loan payments when getting a new vehicle
- You can drive newer models for less money
- You may be able to get free maintenance with your lease
- No worries about depreciation
- You’ll never own the car outright
- You have no control over how it looks
- You may have a limit on mileage
- There can be termination fees if you want to get out of your contract early
- You may be charged for any damage to the vehicle
Buying a second-hand car is an excellent way to join, or remain a part of, the driving population of the UK without breaking the bank. But, cheaper as second-hand cars can be than new cars, they also bring with them a greater degree of risk. Cars with MOT passes are often seen as safe in this regard, having been checked for issues and deemed road-legal – but this is not the whole story, and such cars may not be as safe as they seem.
MOT and Ongoing Safety
The key logical argument behind MOTs as safety criteria stems from the stringent nature of the MOT itself; the test is a government-mandated one to ascertain a car’s safety on UK roads, with a relatively high bar to pass. Even a car with its dashboard warning lights on the blink can be failed, let alone a car with suspension or braking issues.
But, while the MOT serves its function well, it cannot be an indicator of any vehicle’s current quality – only the condition the car was in at the time of the test. It is unknown to you as a buyer that a given second-hand vehicle, advertised as a recent MOT pass, hasn’t developed an issue or suffered an accident since. Not only this but there are other elements of vehicle reliability that need to be taken into consideration before you buy.
Car and Dealer
Firstly, it is important to recognise the differences in risk that can present between models of car and kinds of dealers or sellers. Put simply, a pre-owned Lexus from a trusted local dealership will inspire much more in the way of trust than a used Vauxhall sold privately.
Larger dealerships are more likely to have a servicing framework in place, wherein additional checks are performed on top of any pre-existing MOT certificate. They are also more likely to provide a warranty, in the event that an issue does occur after purchase.
It is also true that certain brands and models of cars are more reliable than others. Even if buying from a private seller, a more well-renowned brand is less likely to present post-MOT issues than an older car or budget brand.
Condition and History
Of course, these general considerations are just that: general. With more specific regard to cars, you may be looking at, there are some vital checks you should make to ensure all is well. For one, you should be able to view any pre-owned car’s V5C documentation on request. These documents dictate basic information about the vehicle and its owner’s history.
With a unique number from the V5C, you’ll be able to check the vehicle’s MOT history – hence, discover any previous issues that could recur before your next MOT with said vehicle. You should also take the time to check the vehicle’s general service history, to ensure that no major incidents have been logged and that no future problems are likely to arise.
The best way to do this is to take the car for a test drive before you commit. Ask for the car to be started from cold to ensure the engine is in good condition and take the vehicle up to higher speeds, to check out the brakes and suspension.
In conclusion, while a car with an MOT pass is a good sign of its current condition, there is no substitute for a thorough check yourself. Knowing that you’ve done your due diligence can make the process of buying a second-hand car safer, and ensure you don’t end up buying a lemon.
As a result of the cost-of-living crisis, motorists are now more likely to keep using their existing vehicle or purchase a used one at a reduced price. In 2021 alone, 9.2 million cars were purchased, 7.5 million of which were second-hand vehicles. Making sure your vehicle is kept in good condition and checked regularly is key to its longevity and can see you well for many years to come.
So, what can you do to help your second-hand car work more efficiently and last longer?
Be aware of the mileage
Mileage is an important factor when purchasing a used car, particularly since those with high mileage have a higher risk of being riddled with issues and faults. It’s worth considering whether your annual mileage is higher than the average, as it would make more sense to go for one with fewer miles in this instance. If you tend to drive for shorter distances only, a higher mileage vehicle could be a suitable option and one that is likely going to be a lot cheaper.
Always select a second-hand car from a reputable dealer; that way you are made aware of the vehicle’s mileage and any other potential issues from the outset. They can also help you choose a vehicle to suit your driving needs and offer a range of financial options and warranty policies.
If your vehicle already has a good number of miles on it, and you plan to drive long distances, it may be worth considering public transport on occasion or opting for another vehicle with lower mileage.
Get it serviced regularly
Not only does getting your car serviced regularly give you peace of mind, but it ensures that any issues are nipped in the bud before they escalate into something much worse – which can lead to high repair costs. An annual service in the UK typically costs around £125 and should be undertaken by a reputable professional.
Check your tyres frequently
Tyres are constantly subjected to heavy wear and tear, particularly for cars that are fairly old and have spent a long time on the road. Ensure that these are within the legal limits and that you check the air pressure, especially before heading out on a long journey. You may also decide to rotate your tyres to spread out the wear and tear and prolong the life of your tyres.
Underinflated tyres can also increase fuel consumption, which will end up costing you more in the long run.
Keep your fluids topped up
Maintaining the fluid levels in your car is essential for its functioning – failing to do so can have dire consequences. Check the oil level every fortnight, wiping it with a cloth and giving it a dip. The oil level should be between the minimum and maximum markers and should appear as a light yellow-brown colour for a petrol engine. If the colour is quite dark, this should be replaced.
The coolant reservoir should also be replaced if low, which should be a half-and-half mix of water and antifreeze.
Driving smoothly is something we should all be practising at all times but isn’t always properly understood. Simple things such as gentle steering and use of the gearbox are key, as well as the use of the brake pedals in good time to avoid harsh braking.
Learning how to drive more efficiently will also reduce the amount of fuel that your vehicle expends, helping you to save money on petrol.
As the owner of an electric vehicle (EV), you can relax knowing you are helping to improve the environment whilst saving money from not having to pay road tax. Despite the many benefits of making the shift to an EV, you still can’t avoid an MOT.
Like all other vehicles, electric cars need to pass their MOT test in order to be considered safe for the road. Here we provide our comprehensive guide to ensure your electric vehicle is ready for its MOT.
When will I need to get an MOT?
If you’re lucky enough to have purchased a new electric vehicle, such as the Mokka e, the first MOT will be due three years after its initial registration date. Following this, an MOT test must take place each year before that date. Once passed, you will receive an MOT test certificate with the date it took place so that you know when the next one should occur.
If you aren’t sure when the last MOT took place, you can check online by entering the vehicle make and registration number, and a spare certificate can be sent to you free of charge. Note that the MOT test can take place up to a month before the expiry date.
How does an MOT test for electrics car differ from non-electric vehicles?
With regards to the overall MOT process, there isn’t much difference between electric and non-electric vehicles. As electric vehicles are powered by rechargeable batteries instead of combustible engines, the emissions test is removed but all other checks will still need to be conducted.
The vehicle will still be checked to make sure that the lights all work efficiently, the steering and tyres respond appropriately, the brakes are in good condition and there are no chips and cracks on the windows.
What can you do pre-MOT to ensure it goes smoothly?
There are a few steps you can take to give your vehicle the best chance at passing its MOT and reducing the risk of any repairs being made. Firstly, try to keep your car clean both inside and out – an excessively dirty and cluttered vehicle may well lead to the examiner refusing to proceed with the MOT. The number plates should also be visible and readable.
Next check that the windscreen has no apparent damage and the wipers are in good condition, including that the screenwash has also been topped up properly. The brake fluid and oil should be topped up as well.
Inspecting the outside of the vehicle is highly important and where most issues go unnoticed. Make sure all of your lights work properly, including headlights and brake lights – ask someone else to have a look around your vehicle for you if you are unable to do this yourself. Also, examine the tyres to confirm they are the correct tread depth and pressure; the 20p test is a quick and easy way to do this.
Finally, make sure that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that is in your vehicle’s V5C logbook is the same as the one marked on the bodywork of the car. If you do need any repairs to be made, try and get a mechanic to carry out any work before your MOT.
Motor repair, and indeed the automotive trade as a whole, is facing trouble. The cost-of-living crisis has impacted the budgets of millions of households, while the jobs market faces unique challenges owing to shifting worker priorities. For smaller independents, hiring new staff can be difficult and above all costly – leading many to consider the option of an apprentice.
Taking on an apprentice is not necessarily simple or easy. Indeed, the various requirements that come along with hiring an apprentice can be roadblock enough for some smaller garages, let alone the division of time between hands-on work and sit-down training. There are also logistical considerations to make; for example, your motor trade insurance coverage would need to be comprehensive enough to cover your new staff and hardware needs.
That said, the positives can easily outweigh the negatives when it comes to bringing an apprentice on board. Knowing a little more in advance about what an apprentice can do for you is all it takes. Here are three of the leading advantages to creating apprenticeship space within your own automotive business.
The first advantage is the most commonly understood one, and the initial reason for which many businesses start to think about creating space for an apprenticeship: money. Apprenticeship wages are less than the minimum wage, on account of counting towards a vocational qualification and guaranteed gainful employment at a given position. This allows you to fill a role at your business at lower cost than usual, with the caveat that training is necessary.
On top of this, there are avenues available for funding wherein the government can grant cash dependant on the nature of your business and of the apprenticeship. For example, you could get £1,000 towards apprentice support if they are between 16 and 18.
Reduces Employee Turnover
Taking on apprentices can also help you more properly manage your business’ staff turnover. Staff turnover or ‘churn’ can be an expensive thing, and especially so in a febrile employment market where employees are more boldly seeking favourable employment terms.
A recent government study found that nearly two thirds of all apprentice ‘graduates’ remain in full-time employment at the employer with which they completed their apprenticeship. This could drastically improve your situation with regard to staff turnover, further minimising costs and boosting productivity as well.
Builds the Next Generation
Lastly, the sheer importance of vocational study and qualification on a national level cannot be ignored. While the population are more educated than ever before, interest in vocational pursuits has dropped off noticeably in recent decades. With less hands interested in learning skilled trades, there are serious shortages across industries – from manufacturing to motoring and beyond. Simply put, taking on an apprentice is your business doing its bit for the future of your industry.
A good quality second hand car can be tricky to come across.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy used car, you’ll need to know a few tried and tested ways to ensure that you don’t end up paying for a faulty vehicle. To help you find a used car that serves you well for years to come, we’ve outlined everything you need to look out for in the process.
Find a used car specialist
One of the best ways to make sure you end up with a good quality second hand car is to go straight to a trusted dealership. Respectable dealers only trade cars they’re happy to sell, and you’ll be able to get quick answers to your questions, too.
It might be tempting to find a cheap deal on a second-hand car website, but you should work with caution if you take this approach. Not all sellers are genuine vehicle owners, and it’s important to be aware of the risks of scams, including fake online car dealerships.
Inspect the bodywork
When you first see the car, take a good look at the bodywork. You should immediately ask the dealer for more information if you see any of the following:
- Wonky or misaligned panels
- Mismatched paint on bumpers and panels
- Small scratches and dents
Even though some cosmetic damage is expected, deeper scratches to paintwork could cause corrosion. If you’re using your savings or looking at car loans to pay for a used vehicle, you’ll need to be proactive in trying to avoid inherited issues.
Check wheels and tyres
Scratches and other superficial damage to wheels shouldn’t be a concern. However, if you notice that the rims are cracked or appear bent, a serious problem could be lurking underneath.
If the car you’re viewing also has little to no tread on its tyres, it’s natural to assume that it perhaps hasn’t been looked after or properly maintained.
Ask to see the service history
Likewise, steer clear if a car dealer or a private seller can’t show you the vehicle’s service history.
While a full service history is preferred, a mostly complete part-history might suffice if you have clear evidence that the car has been well maintained. Make sure you check the car’s records for vehicle tax, MOT, and insurance, too.
On your visit to view the car, ask to see the vehicle logbook. From there, you’ll be able to determine the past reliability of the car along with any past modifications, too.
Go for a test-drive
Lastly, you’ll only get the true feel of a second-hand car if you take it on a test drive.
All reputable dealerships will allow you to do this without hesitation, and from there, you’ll be able to feel how it is to drive and figure out if it’s right for you – or if it’s worth your money.
While taking your car to the garage for its annual MOT can seem like a chore, annual MOT testing is a legal requirement that can’t be avoided – the good news is, it’s now easier than ever before to book your MOT test online, so you should be able to make all the necessary arrangements from the comfort of your home. Check out these 5 curious facts about MOT testing to learn more ahead of the big day:
The MOT test was introduced in 1960
The MOT test was first introduced in the UK way back in 1960, as a means of checking that cars are safe and roadworthy; by receiving an MOT certificate, you’ll be able to prove that your vehicle is safe to drive and that it meets national environmental and safety standards.
Every year there are around 30M MOT tests carried out in the UK
Considering that annual MOT testing is a legal requirement, it’s no surprise that there are over 30 million MOT tests conducted in the UK each year – there were more than 29 million MOTs carried out at more than 22,000 auto shops and garages in 2016, and the numbers have been rising ever since.
Lighting and signalling are the most common causes of failing an MOT test
Most MOT test failures are due to problems with signalling and car lights, such as malfunctioning indicators, faulty brake lights, blown bulbs and cracked or misty lenses. In order to increase your chances of passing your MOT, ensure that you check lights regularly and make replacements where necessary. Other common reasons for failing an MOT include suspension problems, braking issues and worn or damaged tyres.
Tractors are one of the exceptions, thus not having to pass a MOT test
According to the Department of Transport, agricultural tractors used by farmers will not be required to pass MOT-style testing unless the tractor is capable of travelling at 40kph (and is used for commercial haulage) and is in use more than 15 miles away from its base of operation. In these cases, farmers will be obliged to test their vehicles after the first 4 years and then at intervals every 2 years.
The only time you can drive without a valid MOT test is when you’re driving to get it (with an appointment)
Getting an annual MOT checkup is a legal requirement if you’re driving on the roads in the UK. The only time you’ll be permitted to drive a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate is if you’re driving to the auto shop or garage to complete the test – unless you can provide proof of an MOT appointment on the same day, you may face legal penalties and points on your license.
The excitement of learning to drive is one of life’s few pleasures. A rite of passage for teenagers is obtaining a driver’s licence. A novice driver has to purchase a number of accessories when it comes to operating their first vehicle. You are not equipped to succeed if your vehicle lacks the necessary equipment. The experts at Click 4 Reg have provided us with an essential list of accessories for first-time car owners.
Rear view mirror camera with eRapta
Even for a seasoned driver, backing up a car is one of the most challenging manoeuvres. This may be considerably more challenging if you reside in a city. This is why the car industry desperately required the invention of backup cameras. Teenagers often won’t get to profit from a backup camera because it’s likely they won’t be purchasing a brand-new vehicle. Most new cars come equipped with backup cameras as standard equipment, but you may still get one in an old car if you really want one.
Headlight Restoration System from 3M
Every new driver desires a stylish vehicle, but one of the worst things that may detract from a vehicle’s appearance is hazy headlights. Over the past several years, headlamp repair technologies have become more and more popular. They are simple to operate and offer quite excellent outcomes. The most well-liked and least expensive method now available is the 3M Headlight Restoration System. To utilise the kit, all you need is a power drill; the rest is as simple as sanding the lamp down.
Dual Parking Backup Sensor System from Tadibrothers
A novice driver may have trouble figuring out how to back up properly. There is another solution if you don’t want to spend the money on a backup camera. Long before backup cameras became commonplace, parking sensors were already a typical feature on vehicles. If you want to provide someone who is learning to drive a car without a backup camera, you may get a backup sensor rather inexpensively. The Tadibrothers Dual Parking Backup Sensor System with Sound is a fantastic option for a backup sensor that is quick and simple to operate.
200-Watt Foval Car Power Inverter
A power inverter is one of the most practical automotive accessories you can own. Have you ever had a piece of home technology, such as a laptop or even a beard trimmer, and been unable to use it while driving? You may utilise anything that has a classic style plug inside your car with a power inverter. One of these gadgets will be especially helpful for new drivers and college students. Everything you require for usage while travelling will be available to you. There are two power outlets on the Foval 200W Car Power Inverter, as well as USB connections for charging any additional gadgets you may have.
Strong Electric Car Throw
For commuters, especially those who reside in severely cold climates, the winter months may be very challenging. If you’ve ever waited in your car on a chilly winter day, you are aware of how frequently the heater is insufficient. Surprisingly, there are blankets that are made to be used in cars since there are times when all you want is a blanket to keep you warm. The Stalwart Electric Car Blanket is intended for use during those very cold months when you can find yourself stranded in your vehicle for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, you need to know what class HGV MOT check your vehicle(s) needs. This is because you will need to get an MOT every year in order to drive it. However, if you want to use your HGV for commercial purposes, you need to be aware of different MOT regulations, which are applicable to different types of HGV.
For instance, motorhomes are classified as HGVs, even if they are not carrying goods. If you want to use your motorhome to travel, you need to have an HGV MOT check every year.
If you have a vehicle with more than nine seats, you must get a Class 5 MOT. A Class 5 MOT test includes safety checks, such as seat belts. A Class 6 vehicle requires no MOT testing, but a Class 7 vehicle does. The DVSA has issued warnings to MOT Testers who are testing Class 5 vehicles. In addition, these test stations can be removed from the market if they are caught doing so.
What class MOT is an HGV certificate?
An HGV is a commercial vehicle with a revenue weight of over 3,500kg. It is different from a car, as it has more weight. The MOT checks that the tyres can handle the load. It also checks that the brakes can cope with the weight. As a result, it is important to know which class your vehicle belongs to before considering where to get your HGV MOT check.
When Do HGVs Become MOT Exempt?
If you’re looking to get an exemption certificate for your HGV, you’ll need to make sure it’s up to date. Most HGVs are only MOT exempt the year they are registered, so make sure you know when it’s due. Here are the steps to take. Once you’ve registered your vehicle, you’ll need to book your annual MOT test.
If your HGV is over 40 years old, it may be exempt from the standard HGV MOT checks. In order to get the exemption, your vehicle cannot be laden or towing a trailer. It can’t be used for private or commercial purposes, either. Buses that are 40 years old and not part of the public service are exempt, and so are vehicles that were built before 1960. You can also get an exemption for kit cars, reconstructed vehicles, and vehicles with Q plates.
Some critics of the changes say that the change will make vehicles safer. Older cars will still need an MOT, but they won’t need an exemption. However, it’s important to remember that the MOT exemption doesn’t apply to self-built vehicles. Those vehicles should be maintained to maintain their roadworthiness and be safe. The vehicle needs a full service every year in order to avoid any defects that could affect its roadworthiness.
Vehicles made before 1980 and registered before 8 January 1982 will not be required to pay annual roadworthiness testing. If you’re thinking of acquiring an old vehicle, make sure it’s in good condition and in working order. It’s important to check the MOT in your vehicle for safety and reliability. Using a vehicle that isn’t roadworthy is a very serious offence, and it can cost you up to PS2,500 and 3 penalty points.
Does a Lorry Need an MOT?
FYI – in the UK, both ‘lorry’ and ‘truck’ class as HGV vehicles. The purpose of an HGV MOT check or test is to determine whether a vehicle is fit to drive. It checks the exhaust and fuel systems and determines the condition of the brakes and indicators. It also looks at the brake master cylinder and servo. A tester will also look at the bodywork of the vehicle to check for sharp edges that could injure pedestrians. They will also test the condition of the steering and suspension system.
In general, a lorry or trailer MOT check needs to be done every year. This is unlike a car, which only needs one every three years. The deadline for a lorry or trailer is typically around twelve months after it was first registered. You should contact the DVA if you are unsure about the exact date your vehicle is due for an MOT. If you’re not sure whether your vehicle is due for an MOT, check with your local DVA to find out when it was last tested.
When a lorry is ready for an MOT, you should take the time to check the brake fluid, especially if it hasn’t been recently changed. Brake fluid should be clear or amber, not brown. You can check this with a chemical strip. Make sure to close the bonnet fully to make sure you’re looking at the correct fluid level. In addition, you should check the mirrors, especially the offside mirror.
What is Checked on a Lorry MOT?
There are a number of things that are checked on a lorry MOT, and it’s crucial to understand what’s being checked. The most common problems are with lights, mirrors, and glass. Fortunately, replacing these parts is not as difficult as you might think. You can often buy replacement lights and mirrors from a truck spares supplier. If you don’t own a lorry, check your lights to make sure that they’re working.
MOT tests don’t include mileage verification. While MOT inspections are mandatory for public service vehicles and heavy goods vehicles, they aren’t irrefutable records of the vehicle’s mileage. The odometer is not checked during an MOT, so tampering with the odometer is unlikely to be detected during an MOT. However, you can make sure that your lorry is roadworthy by arranging a pre-MOT check beforehand.
The DVSA conducts roadside checks on all vehicles to determine their roadworthiness. While a minor offence can be put on hold for ten days, a serious offence can result in an immediate ban. The driver must correct the fault before the vehicle can be put back on the road. Normally, this means having to undergo a full HGV or MOT test. However, unless the lorry is leased, the responsibility for roadworthiness rests with the operator.
Headlamps are another important area to check. European type headlamps are the most common type of headlamps that need to be checked. They must be aimed correctly on the dip beam. They should have a 15-degree wedge of light above the horizontal towards the left. In addition, headlamps need to be level. And, as always, levelling devices need to be set for an unloaded condition.
Working as a car mechanic can be deeply rewarding; every petrolhead’s dream is to spend their days working on cars, and some get to live that dream out with a business of their own. If you are considering branching out into running your own garage, what key factors should you address for long-term success?
Quality of Work
The single most important metric for any mechanic’s garage or service station is the quality of your work. It is irrelevant the price point at which you pitch your services or the specific jobs and services you offer; the most important thing for you to focus on is the level of care each vehicle and job receives.
What is particularly important for garages is that price has little bearing on consumer habits. While less experienced drivers will look for the cheapest possible deals available, the majority will seek out businesses with the best ratings for quality of work. If a customer visits a garage that places quantity over quality, they are likely to discover more issues with their car – and more incoming expenses as a result.
This brings us to customer service. Providing quality customer service is almost as important as the quality of work you offer your customers. A pleasant demeanour and a straightforward approach to repairs and projects will ensure customers know where they stand and what they owe, leaving them more likely to return with their next issue.
By being honest and fair in your dealings, you can also win customers over in the long term. A customer may have arrived with one issue, and you may have discovered another issue in the making. Cheaper garages may ignore the new issue and wait for them to return; if you fix it for a minimal additional charge, the customer will be grateful – and more likely to rate you highly to other drivers.
As well as regular custom from returning drivers and vehicles, you will receive a fair amount of ‘same day’ custom in the form of emergencies or last-minute issues. In either case, your garage should be as easy to access as possible.
Rural garages may have fields in which cars can park; the grass in these fields should be kept neat and trimmed with a self-propelled lawn mower, to ensure cars can drive in and drivers can get out with ease. For urban garages, parking spaces may be at a premium. Careful vehicle management needs to be upheld, as does a limit to the number of jobs you take on.
The Tools for the Job
Lastly, you should make sure you are re-investing in your garage at every opportunity. You and your team may have gotten fairly good at re-appropriating tools for different purposes, but paying for regular tool replacements and repairs will maximise your ability to work efficiently and effectively. Customers will notice, too – especially if there is a shiny toolbox or two to impress them.