MOT Questions and Answers – 3

MOT Questions and Answers

If the Car Owner’s Guide to the MOT or the questions and answers on these pages don’t cover your problem, try posing your question on the MOT Forum.

Below is a selection of Frequently Asked Questions, more will be added from time to time.

Please note that regulations may change from time to time, and the general advice given here may have been superseded. Whilst we make every attempt to ensure that information provided is correct, for a definitive answer, visitors should refer to the MOT Tester’s Manual.

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A friend of mine maintains that if you have a car MOT Tested before the expiry date she will have 2 weeks in which to repair / drive it before it is illegal. I am under the understanding that once the MOT has expired you are not permitted to drive at all unless going to and from a place of repair (MOT Garage or otherwise). Please can you clairfy the correct and legal thing to do. Many Thanks, Dan Clark

Your MOT is valid until its expiry date even if in the meantime your car fails the MOT – the original pass is still valid. In fact you can have the Test done up to a calendar month before the expiry date and have the new MOT forward-dated to the expiry date of the existing certificate. So if you have your car Tested during that month and it fails, this gives you time to have the repairs carried out and the car re-tested before the expiry of the original certificate and you are not disadvantaged as a result. – MOTT.


Hi, I wonder if you can tell me the length of time a Testing Station should give you for a retest. My parents have taken their car for an MOT, and have been told that they only have 7 days. The Tester failed the car on a wheel bearing, but after having it replaced, they have discovered that it was ok, and was in fact the bottom ball joint. They are worried that the Tester will fail the car again, but I thought that they only checked the parts that failed on retest. Is this correct? – Lynnette

Firstly, there is no official ‘period of grace’ on an MOT – unless you have some time left on your original MOT certificate. That is why the regulations allow you to have an MOT before the old one has expired (up to a calendar month), and the new one can be forward-dated to the old expiry day/month.

Secondly, there are only a limited number of failure items where the Tester is allowed to just re-test the item(s) failed – and the items you discuss are not amongst them. You say that on inspection you believe that the problem was not the wheel bearing, but the ball joint. Of course I cannot comment on the detail and it is possible the Tester made a mistake – we all do sometimes. Having found the worn ball joint, have you replaced it? If the Tester discovers his (or her?) mistake, then he or she will be duty bound to fail the ball joint if that fault is discovered during the retest. In any case it would be in your own best interest to make sure it has been changed to render the vehicle safe to drive. -MOTT


I have visited the Department of Transport’s website, which states that trainees must be sponsored by a recognised MOT testing station. My brother is a trained mechanic, but is not currently employed by an MOT Testing Station. I wonder if, given what I understand is a serious shortage of trained MOT Testers, you were aware of any training/entry schemes/employment initiatives currently being undertaken by the industry to encourage recruitment? Paula Singleton

See below

Are you able to tell me the training requirements for an MOT Tester and where I can get details from, I am looking at a job change after working in the RAF as a Airframe Technician for 15 years. Wayne Welch

See below

I understand that I cannot become a Tester unless nominated by an MOT centre, but is it possible to set up an MOT garage without being a Tester, or having a Tester employed at that time? or, do I have to have a Tester employed at the time of application, if not, can I set up the MOT centre then nominate myself as the Tester?

Yes, despite the shortage of MOT Testers experienced throughout the country (denied by the Government), the regulations set by the Department for Transport mean that it is impossible for anybody to become an MOT Tester without first being employed by a Testing Station. Then the candidate must persuade the MOT Testing Station to put him or her up as a candidate. Then the candidate must have both appropriate experience and qualifications to be accepted by the Testing Authorities (VOSA).

The experience is essential but as an alternative to qualifications the candidate must pass an examination set by VOSA. It is, for example, currently impossible for a school leaver to attend a course to become an MOT Tester – employment with the Testing Station is essential. See also The Road to Testing – MOTT


Should my car fail the MOT for having excessive travel on the handbrake lever and does the spare wheel count for the MOT – Ray

Yes, if the handbrake has excessive travel such that the Tester believes that there is no ‘reserve travel’, then a failure will be issued. The spare wheel is not part of the MOT Test. – MOTT


My car runs on dual fuel LPG and petrol. I was wondering if you could help me with a few questions I have:

1. If I bring the car in running on LPG, do the emission tests have to be carried out with it running on LPG?

2. If this is the case, can I remove the cat without this causing it to fail the MOT, either because the cat has been removed or because the emissions are too high?

3. I’m having a new exhaust system fitted soon, and plan to have a straight through pipe instead of the cat. Can you think of any other problems I may have with this with regard to the MOT? Many thanks for your help. Matt Lockett

Thank you for your interesting question. The MOT emissions Test varies depending on whether the vehicle uses petrol or LPG. However the pass fail criteria is set by the authorities for your make of car for these two situations.

If you remove the cat and in consequence the vehicle fails then that’s it, it has failed. With respect to dual fuel vehicles the MOT Tester will Test the vehicle according to which fuel is being used when it is presented for Test. – MOTT


I have recently purchased a set of alloy wheels from [a retailer] for my Ford Focus ST170 [who in turn fitted them to my car].

They appeared to be look a wider fitment than the original standard wheel even though they were the same size, 215/45/17, and were visibly protruding beyond the wheel arch on the front by approximately 5-6mm. They have also been catching the wheel arches on the front when going over speed ramps or bigger bumps in the road.

A local MOT Testing Station could not clarify whether this protrusion was classed as illegal so I would hope you could provide clarification? Steven Jewitt

As I understand the situation the only way the MOT is affected is if your new wheels actually foul the bodywork or any other part of the vehicle when the wheels are turned lock to lock when the vehicle is sitting in its normal position.

Remember too that your vehicle has to comply with ‘construction and use’ regulations which are not necessarily the same as the regulations regarding the MOT. Unfortunately we are unable to assist you with respect to those requirements. – MOTT


Does my motorcycle require a speedometer for an MOT? If not what milage would the Tester put down on the VT20 or VT12? Phil

You will be pleased to hear that the speedometer is not checked in the MOT. The Tester would simply note that the motorcycle has no speedometer. – MOTT


The speedo on my 1994 Alfa 33 16 v 1.7 Sportwagon fails intermittently. Is a faulty speedometer an automatic MOT failure – Mike Lock

The speedo is not checked for the MOT. – MOTT


I am a mechanic and I have had a jaguar in for repair and noticed a small pre formed hole in rear silencer. I would be most grateful if you could let me know what the hole is for? As I have always understood that there should not be a hole in the exhaust system. Thanks, Malcolm Emmett

If the hole is, as you say, is pre-formed and part of the design, it is probably there to drain off surplus water which can condense inside the silencer. Most silencers corrode because the exhaust emissions have a significant amount of water vapour in them which can combine with the emission gases and create acid which accelerates corrosion. – MOTT


Our K reg diesel engine car recently had an MOT and passed after having some kind of cleaner put through to reduce the emission. However 10 days later the engine stopped altogether and although a new fuel pipe has been put in the engine sounds terrible and there is almost no acceleration. The cambelt was not due to be replaced for another 5,000 miles. Is it possible that the subsequent failure of the car resulted from anything in the MOT Test? Thanks, Claire

As I am sure you understand, I can’t really comment on what has actually happened to your car without inspecting it myself. However I can tell you that putting a cleaner through the engine so that it is more likely to pass the emission test is not of itself part of the MOT. Garages do, however, do this to assist motorists get a pass for their cars. In my own experience that shouldn’t result in the problem you have had. I hope this helps. – MOTT


If at an MOT conducted one month before the due date the tyres are found to be below the Test standard is it legal to drive that vehicle from the MOT Test station to the nearest tyre dealer?

If it is a motoring offence to drive a car with tyres below MOT standard to the nearest tyre dealer, is it permissible for the MOT garage to bar said tyre dealer from replacing defective tyres on the MOT centre premises?

In the above circumstances I would have driven the vehicle, with caution to the tyre dealer, however I would be interested to know how the above situation is normally resolved.

I feel the car owner is being bullied into accepting higher priced tyres by the MOT garage than would be available down the road. Ted Hutchinson.

Your description of the situation is accurate. The reason an MOT Testing station is likely to bar the ‘mobile’ tyre fitter is probably due to the strict Health and Safety rules which apply. To make sure the MOT garage doesn’t break the Health and Safety rules, he must make sure ANY contractor entering his premises to do work (that’s anybody, locksmiths, glaziers, electrical contractors etc) must provide proof of a safe ‘method of working’, and a ‘risk assessment’ of the work to be done. Incidentally this applies to all companies, not just MOT Testing stations.

Your difficulty would be easily resolved by going to a tyre company before having the MOT done and asking them to have a look at your tyres. -MOTT


My MOT is due in feb and there are a few things I’m unsure of. I have some 4 point race harnesses bolted in the car. They are ‘e’ marked and all the british standards are met but will they fail my mot?

Also I have a small numberplate on the front, the car is a Japanese import and I was once told that imported car number plates are smaller but are still considered a legal plate, is this true? if not would I pass if there was a numberplate in the front window? Simon Springall

Provided the seat belts are to the correct standard they should be OK. The number plate will fail if it is not of the correct size and type. – MOTT


Please could you advise on an aluminium twin rear spoiler (very securely fitted using twin 4 mm thick shaped angle iron and bolted securely in six places) , however there is a slight overhang from the rear of the vehicle of 4″ at 4′ height from the road. There is no overhang outside of the vehicle sides; making it similar in dimension to the rear mountain bike racks. The spoiler is painted bright red with reflective decals highly visible from the rear. I appriciate I must submit the vehicle for MOT scruitany to be approved , but would be most greatful if you could see any breach of regulation for legal road use. Many Thanks, Mark

I can’t comment on the spoiler’s legality (or otherwise) for road use but can say it won’t affect the MOT. – MOTT


I’ve just put my car in for MOT and have been told it has failed due to ‘the steering being excessively heavy’. Having driven the car only a couple of hours before, I find that hard to believe. MGB GTs are well known for having heavy steering, and, with a smaller after-market steering wheel fitted, the force required to steer is slightly more, but still acceptable for someone (like myself) to drive with a back injury. Looking at your owners guide to the MOT, there is nothing to suggest that excessive heaviness is actually checked, although the garage insist that a new UJ and rack are installed. If you have any suggestions as to how I could solve this problem, please mail me back. – R W Compton

The words ‘heavy steering’ should not be used on an MOT failure. The terms which could apply depending on what the Tester discovers are “excessive tightness or roughness in the steering mechanism”. Ultimately this is a matter for the MOT Tester to decide. This is checked during the Test by placing the front road wheels on low friction turning plates and turning the steering wheel from lock to lock.

So even if a vehicle has heavy steering when being driven, during this check the steering should move completely freely. If it doesn’t then something, somewhere in the mechanism is ‘binding’ for whatever reason, resulting in an MOT failure. Although the Tester has used the wrong words to describe the failure, the decision to fail the vehicle could still be correct. -MOTT


I put my car (D reg Citroen Visa Diesel) in for MOT Test at a garage on Friday (09/01/04) morning. Although they said they would ring me with news I had to ring them at 4pm. They said it had failed (one front wheel bearing and missing rear suspension bump stop). I would like to repair these items myself so I asked how long I would have without incurring the retest fee. They stated it is only 24 hours but as they were shut Saturday morning I would not be able to take it back Monday morning as I would have exceeded 24 hours.

Q1 Are they correct in interpreting the regulations this way. It seems totally unfair to me as I do not get any time at all to repair the car.

Q2 The car is still with the Garage (it has been there since it was Tested) as naturally I am having trouble finding the bump stop for such an old car. When I get the parts can I now request my 24 hours from when I pick the car up as it hasn’t left their premises?

ta, Mark Tuckey

With regard to the ‘free re-test’, this is an entirely commercial matter for the MOT garage concerned. As far as the regulations are concerned the garage could always charge a full fee for re-tests requiring the whole MOT to be done again if they decided to do so. – MOTT


Looking to replace my nasty plastic steering wheel on my mx5 (1999 “t” plate), the original wheel has an airbag which I believe was an option as new, as I have seen other mx5s without airbag. Tthe wheel i want to put on is a non airbag momo wheel. Contacted my insurance (Norwich Union) who have no problem and have just made a reference of it on my policy. Jjust wondering how I stand when it comes to MOT time, from what I understand if a airbag is fitted it has to be working but it is unclear about if it is no longer fitted, any advice would be great. cheers Arran

Airbags are not (currently) part of the MOT in any way, shape or form. – MOTT


I own a 1967 Bedford TK lorry which has a horse box configuration, please can you tell me if this vehicle has any exemptions regarding the MOT due to its age. The taxation class is Historic Vehicle. Dave Conway

I’m sorry, I can’t assist with your question. I suspect the vehicle will need to be Tested under the Heavy Goods Vehicle regulations. I suggest you contact the Vehicle Operating Services Agency. Their ‘ hot line’ number is on the reverse of any MOT Test certificate. – MOTT


The garage that my mother has always taken her beloved Fiat Uno (now 20 years old) to has failed it yet again (about the 8th time in exactly the same places) for welding requirements. Although the car has only done 40 miles this year, the garage in question found three holes, one in each sill (about 4cm x 1cm each, halfway along each of the front doors) and a more severe hole (6cm x 4cm) under the pedals.

We repaired the sills using a chemical weld compound and strips of galvanised steel, but resorted to bolting large sheets of steel under the pedals … effectively completely replacing the floor pan at that point.

When we took it back for a retest, the garage insist (as it’s worth £120 to them) that the repairs must be welded, but I don’t see why. The points are not structural and other parts of the car (like the wings) are bolted on. At what point does body filler become unnacceptable and a weld become necessary? Robin Rixon

It is an absolute requirement that any repairs required as a result of corrosion following a failed MOT must, with but a few exceptions be seam welded.

The actual requirements regarding whether or not excessive structural corrosion comprises a failure are quite complex, very specific and laid down by the authorities in the “Tester’s Manual” – effectively the ‘bible’ of how MOT Tests MUST be conducted by the Testing garage.

So whether or not your vehicle should have failed in the first place is something I cannot comment on. I can, however, say with absolute certainty that if a structural repair is required, the way you have done it is totally unsatisfactory and would always result in a failure at re-Test. – MOTT


I have just collected my car from the local test centre. On collection the pass/fail sheet was not filled in. I was told my car had failed because the brake pads were worn below 1.5mm. Not that the car had failed the braking requirements. On the invoice it stated this was advisory. I said I would fit pads so it would pass a re test. The pass/fail sheet was then filled in front of me. Does this seem correct?

I can confirm that brake pads worn below 1.5mm would fail the MOT. Any errors or mistakes regarding the paperwork would not alter that fact. – MOTT


Could you tell me how you should check your handbrake, is there a minimum click level on the handbrake that the car shouldn’t move when being pushed or the accelerator is applied. -Terry Cuthbert

There should be reserve travel when the handbrake has been applied, and of course, it should properly lock the wheels. The latter is checked by the Testing station using a roller brake meter. – MOTT


My Fiesta had an MOT last week and I have since noticed, that on the front two wheels, the central domed metal cups which covers bearings (?) are missing. This may be a coincidence, but would they have been removed to during the MOT as part of the checks and more importantly, should I get them replaced?

No dismantling is allowed during an MOT. I would be surprised if an MOT Tester would dismantle anything during an MOT Test; the company will not be paid for the extra time involved and such action would be in breach of the MOT regulations. – MOTT


Is it legal to Test your own car if you are a qualified MOT Tester? – A Reid.

Yes, if you are a nominated Tester and it is done in your AE’s authorised MOT Test facility. -MOTT


My car was registered at the end of november 2000 when will its first MOT be due and will I be notified. – Chris Watts

Your car’s MOT will be due on 1st December (2003) when it is three years old. You will not be notified of this, the onus to get it Tested is on you. – MOTT


My car has just failed theMOT Test on emissions. The car is a K reg Citroen BX. The car was given a Catalyst (closed loop) gas test although the car does not have a cat fitted or fuel injection and is a carburettor engine model. Not suprisingly it did not meet the cat standards but should it have been given a different test. – A Bolton

To decide whether or not a vehicle should have a catalytic test the MOT garage will have an official booklet which clearly states not only which vehicles should be so tested but also what the limits should be for that specific vehicle.

Certainly most ‘K’ registered vehicles would need a cat test. I suggest you go to the garage and ask them to again check in their emissions booklet with respect to your vehicle.

As catalytic converters are not cheap it is not unknown for people to replace the cat with a ‘normal’ exhaust box. On the other hand that your car is not fuel injected would imply that it never did have a cat in the first place. Could somebody have changed the engine during the vehicle’s history?

Your final alternative is to telephone the VOSA ‘hotline’ the number will be on the reverse of the MOT failure certificate, and ask their advice. – MOTT


I have recently been given 3 points on my licence and a fine for having my front windows tinted with a light smoke. I have been informed by the garage that there is nothing wrong with doing this but the police are still taking me to court and have told me that if I can get written confirmation that my car would pass an mot test with the light smoke then their test may be wrong. Can you please tell me if there is anything regarding this matter in the current mot test in place at the moment.

There is nothing in the MOT regarding a ‘smoked’ or tinted screen.

However, due to the level of tint, your car may fall foul of the ‘Construction and Use’ regulations which are not always the same as the MOT regulations and differ in a number of ways – it could be on the basis of these regulations that the police are threatening to take action against you (if they have not already done so). I can’t help you further because I am not at all familiar with the detail of those regulations. You would be best advised to get proper legal advice or ring the MOT Helpline above. – MOTT


I am aware that a car that does not have a current MOT Certificate is not allowed to be used on the road except when going for repairs for a test, or to a prearranged test. Is there a milage limit as to how far a car can be driven without an MOT if it is going to a test centre – ie can one drive 40miles in the car if it to be to an MOT appointment with a garage?

No there is no mileage limit. – MOTT


Hi, I am currently involved in a argument with a garage from which I purchased a 3yr old peugeot. When agreeing purchase, a new MOT certificate was issued and service carried out. Having had the car for 6wks, the handbrake failed and the car rolled a number of yards into a lamppost, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage. Independent examination at a main dealer found the cause to be a worn handbrake ratchet, that they stated would have been noticed at time of MOT test. The garage from which I purchased the car said that the wear had been caused by myself in the 6weeksI had owned the car, and would take no responsibility for the cost of repair. Could you please offer any thoughts on the matter, particular with the rate of wear on a handbrake ratchet. I would be most grateful of any help, Chris Biggins

Very sorry but it isn’t really possible to help you in this. Apart from the need to actually inspect the vehicle, this is really a legal matter between yourself and the garage and it would not be appropriate for us to comment.

All we can say is that the handbrake ratchet is part of the MOT Test. Whether or not it was acceptable on the day of the Test is a matter of speculation. – MOTT


My car is fitted with an ABS system. The warning light has come on and the ABS doesn’t work although the brakes work fine. Will this be acceptable for passing the MOT or must the ABS be working if fitted? Many thanks.

See below

Hi, my father has a toyota celica 1.8, the MOT has expired And he’s been trying to get it tested. He recently took the car to a Toyota dealer for a service prior to the MOT expiring. The service was carried out but the dealers cannot diagnose what is causing the ABS light to remain on. Despite two hours of testing/fault finding the problem remains unsolved, yet the ABS system is fully operational. Despite the clean bill of health will it still pass an MOT with the light Illuminated? Mike

See below

I bought a car with the extra option of ABS. The ABS has failed as shown by the ABS warning light. The basic function of the brakes is unimpaired. Would the car fail its MOT just because the ABS is non functional ? Thank you. Stan

I am sorry to say that the regulations here are very clear. If there is a problem signalled by the ABS light, then that is an MOT failure. The Testing station would have no discretion at all.

The ABS system will have a special sequence of warning lights when the ignition is switched on to indicate that the system is functioning correctly. That is tested for the MOT. The ABS as such is not tested. So if, as a result of your ABS failure the warning lights show an incorrect indication, then that will result in an MOT failure. – MOTT


I’ve been searching the web for ages trying to find info about MOT and the number plate light. Thing is I’ve changed my back bumper and it wasn’t fitted with a light for the rear number plate and there is not really anywhere suitable to put one because it will be sticking out. I’m trying to find out weather my car will pass the MOT if there is not one fitted. Any info would be very much appreciated. Tim

Yes, you do have to have a number plate light for the MOT. However, believe it or not, due to a quirk in the regulations if you blank off or disconnect all of your lights then the MOT garage does not have to Test the lights and cannot fail your vehicle on the MOT. However if you use the vehicle after dark without a number plate light you would face prosecution if caught. – MOTT


I have found your site valuable and interesting, and it has helped me get my 6 year old car through the test. I have a question, however. In the past I have received with my certificate a print out showing how my car fared in the emissions test. This year the garage said that they could not provide this as their printer was broken. Do I need this so as to be legal? Thanks for your help – Trevor Bottomley

No, that you do not have an emissions print out in no way affects the legality of your MOT pass certificate – MOTT


Have you ever come across cases where liability is upheld against an MOT tester/garage for catastrophic failure of a key structure subject to MOT inspection, within 3 weeks of the MOT having been passed? I recently had the front wishbone snap due to metal fatigue causing the steering, suspension and drive to fail. Luckily it happened at crawling speed after 2 hours of driving at motorway speed. I could have been killed. I would appreciate your insight before approaching the garage which carried out the MOT. – Manoj

Checking specifically for metal fatigue is not part of an MOT Test. The situation here depends on whether there would have been any significant evidence of impending failure at the time of the Test which could have been detected without dismantling the component in question, or extensively cleaning off any road dirt and so on which would have accumulated on the surface. I suspect that three weeks after the event it would be very difficult to decide one way or the other as to whether or not a Tester could tell the component was about to fail when he or she Tested the car. There would have had to have been, at the time of the Test, a very obvious crack which the MOT Tester could have reasonably been expected to detect whilst carrying out a normal MOT – MOTT


Is it a reqirement for a car to be fitted with a catalytic converter if is was original equipment. I have a 1994 Saab turbo which is currently running with a 3″ front exhaust ipe(non-cat). Provided my car can meet the emisions levels required for the age of the vehicle am I correct in assuming that the presence of the ‘cat’ is not a necessity? – Mike Stevens

There is no necessity to have a catalytic converter on any vehicle. However, your vehicle will be MOT Tested as if it had one and it is unlikely that it will pass the emissions part of the MOT without the cat. The reason being that the engine and the catalytic converter were all part of the same integral design to meet the emission requirements when the vehicle was manufactured – MOTT.


Are MOT Fees subject to VAT and if so, at what rate?

Short answer: The MOT is zero rated for VAT purposes – MOTT.

Longer answer (we are grateful to an anonymous reader at HMRC):

There is no VAT on MOTs but its liability is not Zero Rated (which is an actual rate of VAT). MOT’s are “outside the scope of UK VAT” so VAT cannot be charged on them.

The biggest misunderstanding with VAT on MOTs is the liability of the commission a non-Testing Station charges (their customers) for the MOT cost.

If the non-qualified Testing Station buys an MOT from a qualified Testing station for £25 each (say) and sells them on for £35 each (to the public) then they must charge VAT at the standard rate (17.5%) on the whole £35 unless the £25 cost price is detailed separately on the invoice. If they detail the cost of the MOT with a separate line for the commission then this is OK and VAT must only be charged on the commission.

Further details can be found in HMRC Public Notice 700: The VAT guide.

All of the above can be verified by accessing the HMRC website: or by contacting the National Advice Service 0845 010 9000.


What is the criteria for failing cars with modified exhaust systems producing more noise than the standard system? Do MOT testers have access to noise meters? – Micky

No, it is a matter for the Tester to decide whether or not the vehicle is producing excessive noise – MOTT.


My 1972 mini has just failed on hazard warning lights. They are not fitted nor have they ever been. Should the Test centre fail on this? – G. Mears

The MOT Tester’s Manual says: “Vehicles first used before 1st April 1986 A hazard warning device is not required by regulation, but if one is fitted it must be Tested.” – MOTT

If front fog lamps are fitted to the vehicle, would the vehicle pass an MOT if they were not working (even though they are an optional extra) – Stuart Molyneux

Front fog lamps are not part of the MOT – MOTT


If I have a hard wall and soft wall tyre on the same axle (steering), will it pass the Test? – S Jones

I don’t know what you mean by hard wall and soft wall tyres. However, if you mean ‘cross ply’ and ‘radial ply’ tyres then you must have the same type of tyre on the same axle otherwise it is an MOT failure – MOTT


I am a qualified motor vehicle technician but would like to add MOT Testing to it. I don’t presently work at a Testing Station, is it still possible for me to get a Tester’s certificate if a Testing Station lets me use their garage?

Most unlikely, generally you have to be actually employed at the garage to become an MOT Tester – MOTT


Please could you let me know what the rules and regulations concerning NOS systems are? I am interested in fitting a system but would like to see the rules etc regarding the above mentioned item. Thank you for any assistance you can give me – M. Munson

There are no regulations concerning the use of nitrous oxide to ‘dose’ the intake gases and increase engine performance. However, the usual emission Tests would apply, and if the use of nitrous oxide to enhance performance resulted in exhaust emissions outside those allowed to pass the MOT, then the vehicle would fail the Test. – MOTT


I took my car to a MOT centre. They did the Test and said the repairs would cost at least £250, they also said there was a problem with the brakes but could not give me a quotation for this precise matter ( which I find strange!) Can I take my car with the results of the Test to a garage for another estimate and repairs? If yes, am I going to be charged again by the MOT centre to obtain the certificate once the work is done. Please help!

It is quite common to be unable to make an accurate estimate of the cost of repairing brakes which have failed the MOT. The reason for this is that the MOT does not allow any dismantling of components. However the brake performance is tested. If it fails there could be any number of reasons for this which your garage will not know about until the braking system is dismantled – however they can have a guess at the reason and base their quote on that.

Also, there’s nothing to stop you going to another garage for the repairs, or even to go to another MOT Testing station to get the repairs and re-test done.

Be careful though. If you go to a non-MOT garage for the repairs they may not have the specialised equipment to carry out the appropriate re-test of the brakes. Then if it still fails at an MOT garage you may well have paid out money to no effect – and end up paying twice for the repairs! – MOTT

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