Having An Early MOT Test Could Lead To A £2,500 Fine

Friday, 26. May 2017

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Some people think that having an MOT test proves that a car is in good condition and without faults. This of course isn’t true so if you are buying a used car you should have a full inspection carried out on the car rather than just an MOT. Also if you have an MOT coming up and you want to know the likely ‘damage’ you should ask for a pre-MOT check rather than having an actual MOT carried out.


The reason for mentioning this is that if you have a car MOT tested and it fails this is recorded on the DVSA register as a failure. Scrapcarcomparison.co.uk has warned that some drivers have had their cars MOT tested long before the MOT is due, failed the test but believed that it is still OK to drive the car till the old MOT has run out. This isn’t true and not only is it dangerous it is also illegal.


Driving a car that isn’t roadworthy is not only dangerous and illegal it can also invalidate your insurance and if the police pick it up via their ANPR cameras it can lead to a fine of £2,500, a driving ban as well as 3 points on the licence. Last year 36.8% of cars failed their MOT tests on the first attempt with over 2.4 million cars requiring fixes before passing. So remember, if your car fails an MOT test at any time you can only continue to drive the car if it is on the way to be repaired (proof required) or to a pre-arranged MOT test appointment. By Graham Hill

Misunderstandings about MOT Tests & New Changes

Friday, 10. February 2017

MOT tests do not prove that a car has no faults. On many occasions I have written about this issue and explained how buyers have been handed a brand new MOT certificate with their used car as proof that the car is faultless. Most safety items are checked along with emissions but it won’t reveal that a car has an oil leak or any other mechanical fault unless it falls within the scope of the test.


A full mechanical check on the car should confirm if the car has a faulty gearbox or engine or any other potentially expensive faults. Having said that the scope of the MOT test is extending annually to include new technology which also means that examiners are expected to take an annual, online, test. However, it has been revealed that just 35% of MOT testers have taken their test with just up to the end of March to pass.


Following which the testers will put their licence in jeopardy. The question is does this put drivers at risk if the MOT tester isn’t up to speed with the latest requirements? The Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) thinks not as they have announced that the examiners will be treated leniently this year, as this is the first year of change and the online examinations, but a tougher approach will be taken in future if examiners don’t conform to the new rules. Concerns have been raised regarding driverless cars.


Development in this sector is gaining traction but concerns have been expressed by various bodies regarding the preparation, or rather the lack of it, when it comes to the safety testing and MOT test criteria in relation to autonomous cars fitted with extra sensors and complex electronics. The Department for Transport simply says that work in this area is ‘under review’. Finally on the subject of MOT testing the Department for Transport has finally launched its proposals to extend the first MOT test from 3 years to 4 years.


The consultation paper recommends that the initial MOT test for cars and motorcycles be extended to 4 years from 2018 saving motorists more than £100 million annually. Transport Minister Andrew Jones (no I haven’t heard of him either) suggested that our roads are some of the safest in the world and vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago when the MOT test was set at 3 years.


Personally I would suggest that we need to see how many cars fail their first MOT at 3 years before deciding if we can extend to 4 years. Strange that wasn’t mentioned. By Graham Hill

Does A New MOT Prove That A Car Is Roadworthy?

Friday, 4. March 2016

Did you know that an MOT test certificate does not prove that a car is road legal. Many car dealers believe it does as do most customers. But let’s take an example whereby a used car on a dealer’s forecourt has been on a test drive and hits a pothole that forces the wheel alignment out.
Not so much that you would feel it in the steering but this damage could be the future cause of excessive tyre wear or even worse cause an accident. You test drive the car and agree to buy it. True to his word the dealer has the car MOT tested  before you take delivery but wheel alignment is not part of the MOT test but it is illegal to drive a car whose wheel alignment is out.
If you find the fault, hopefully not after an accident, the dealer will probably say that the car was roadworthy when you bought it because it had a brand new MOT certificate, issued the day you bought it. It’s a con. There are a number of other items that could be wrong with the car making it not roadworthy but are not part of an MOT test.
And if the MOT is 3 months old there is an even greater chance that it may not be roadworthy as an MOT is a snapshot, much can go wrong over 3 months. Finally on this point Trading Standards are considering a formal prosecution of a dealer who sold a car to a customer two and a half years previous to him being involved in an accident.
The accident was caused as a result of the car having a fault that made it not roadworthy which was shown to have existed at the time of purchase. The dealer argued that the car had a new MOT when sold and had been through 2 MOT’s since but the fault was not part of the MOT test so Trading Standards are prosecuting. If the outcome is reported I’ll let you know. By Graham Hill


MOT Statistics Reveal The Dangers On Our Roads

Thursday, 19. November 2015

I wasn’t surprised to read that over 1,000 drivers each year appeal MOT test results. However I was surprised to read that these appeals were against a pass rather than a fail. Only 100 appeal a fail each year with about 40 being successful.

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So why would anyone appeal a pass? As it turns out it is quite logical, they are customers who have bought a used car with a new or relatively new MOT that they subsequently feel is dodgy and want to use the results of the appeal to either return the car or take a dealer to court.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) confirmed that over 1,250 motorists contacted them in 2014 believing that their car should have failed. The number is increasing as this figure is up by 100 from 2013.

As for those appealing a fail whilst only 116 in 2014 this is the highest over the last 5 years. Of the 1,250 appeals against passed cars only 22% were successful but that shows that nearly a quarter of cars sold with a Full MOT are not roadworthy.

That is frightening. The DVSA carry out an annual Compliance Survey whereby they carry out retests on recently tested cars. They found that 15% of all MOT’s are wrong. Over 11% were given a fail when in fact they passed and 18% were given a pass when they should have failed.

I find that even more frightening! What is wrong with our testing systems whether they are for safety reasons or emission reasons. This isn’t good enough. By Graham Hill

Particulate Filters – The Dangers Of Buying Used Cars

Wednesday, 26. February 2014

English: Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) built...

English: Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) built in the exhaust pipe of a Peugeot) Deutsch: Dieselrußpartikelfilter (DPF) in einem Peugeot Français : Filtre à particules (FAP) de Peugeot Citroën (PSA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may or may not be aware that the MOT rules have changed recently. One of the changes relates to the use of Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) and the requirement that if a car is fitted with one as standard from new that it is intact and working properly. If it isn’t the car will fail its MOT.

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However, it seems that the only effective test that an MOT station can carry out is a visual inspection so it seems that in order to get around the rules some companies are offering a removal service whereby they remove the DPF leaving just an empty canister which looks fine but clearly isn’t working.

This infringes section 75 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which prohibits alterations from being made to a car that renders it unroadworthy. After the MOT rule change, the motor insurance industry has become more vigilant and has warned motorists that if they remove the DPF then have a crash they should consider the consequences of not having valid insurance.

Remember that if your car has a diesel particulate filter fitted and you want to avoid clogging in the first place, you need to run the car at a minimum of 50mph for a minimum of 20 minutes each month. This creates a chemical reaction that clears out the particulate filter.

Yet another potential problem when buying a used car, even with an inspection carried out by an engineer, there is no way of knowing how badly clogged the filter may be when you buy a used car. And they aren’t cheap I was told a VW owner paid £1,650 for a replacement filter. Do you really want a used car? STOP PRESS: Strangely I have just had a call from a desperate driver (oooerr missus) who thought that he would save money by taking a low cost ex demonstrator.

He’s had the car for about 4 months and the car is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. After the particulate light started to glow on the dashboard he took the car into the dealer to have it looked at and they said the particulate filter is blocked and it will cost £1,400 to have it replaced.

They then shocked him by explaining that this is a wear and tear item, not covered by the warranty. Another reason why you should never take an ex demonstrator, you just don’t know how the 50 or more drivers of the car have driven the car! By Graham Hill

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Should The Government Implement MOT Changes?

Wednesday, 24. August 2011

MOT logo

Image via Wikipedia

Another item I’ve reported upon before is the proposal by the Government to change the MOT requirements. The proposal is to make the first MOT due at 4 years and then every 2 years thereafter. In terms of cost this is good news for Read more

MOT Fraud Still Happening As Fraudster Goes To Jail

Friday, 26. November 2010

The blue 'three triangles' logo, which station...
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been in this industry long enough to know that there are ways to get hold of dodgy MOT test certificates although since everything is on central computers now I believed that it wasn’t possible to fiddle certificates any longer. Well to prove me wrong a garage owner has been jailed for 6 months for passing 2,500 vehicles without failing a single one. Video evidence was collected against Noor Hussain for presentation at Preston Crown Court. It showed cars going in and out of the test bay in 7 Read more

Challenge To Plans To Change MOT Periods

Wednesday, 22. September 2010

The blue 'three triangles' logo, which station...
Image via Wikipedia

If you are a regular reader of my newsletter and blog you will recall that I announced that the Government was considering moving out the first MOT to 2 years and the annual MOT tests thereafter to be moved from annual to bi-annual as a result of pressure to do so by the EU. This has sparked some strong resistance from road safety groups. RoadSafe has said that the Government shouldn’t change the current Read more

Vans Become More Dangerous As Companies Suffer

Saturday, 21. August 2010

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency
Image via Wikipedia

According to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) around half of vans on UK roads fail spot safety checks suggesting that van fleets are wilfully disregarding mechanical defects and ignoring the need for regular maintenance checks. Their findings show that van fleet offences now exceed those of HGV’s and PSV’s. More than half of the 21,000 vans checked last year uncovered mechanical defects compared Read more

MOT Rules To Change With Longer Periods Between Tests

Thursday, 5. August 2010

The blue 'three triangles' logo, which station...
Image via Wikipedia

Annual MOT tests may be stretched out to 2 years according to new Government plans. The proposal will save motorists £465 million per annum. The announcement came via the Lords through the Government’s transport spokesman, Earl Attlee who promised a review this year. However safety groups are fearful of the dangers involved, especially with older cars. Britain has the most rigorous testing regime in Read more