Remember this is a difficult and stressful experience. Anybody would be anxious, ‘wound-up’ and emotive, all after a sleepless night – such a state of mind is not conducive to responding to the VE’s accusations in a considered way.
What seems ‘obviously a mistake’ on the day may look different when analysed later. An MOT consultant assessing the case later may provide a perfectly plausible explanation in writing to VOSA. But with any hint of a ‘confession’ on the day, VOSA will put most emphasis on that when deciding the outcome.
In my view it is best to politely decline to comment saying something like “I’m nervous and wound up, I would prefer to respond when you have written to me”.
And don’t think that by ‘pleasing’ the VE, things will go easier for you. Often Testers admit to something, thinking that somehow things will go better for them by agreeing with the VE – a ‘plea bargain’ for a lesser ‘sentence’. It makes no difference!
Tip 3: Do not agree with the VE because you think that by agreeing, somehow that will reduce your punishment – it won’t. With VOSA’s system there’s no mitigation for a guilty plea!
Make notes – take pictures
Two VOSA staff will attend. One as VOSA’s ‘Tester’, the other assisting, and also making notes and perhaps taking pictures. Do the same. Photograph any corrosion, or tyre condition, or perhaps a crack in the screen. Always make notes of what happened, and what the VE said. Ask questions for clarification and note the VE’s answers. You never know when something might be vital later.
Tip 4: Make notes, ask questions, and if necessary, take pictures. Write down everything including both the date and time when it happened. Raise any queries, and carefully note the VEs’s answers.
If things have gone badly you’ll get a VOSA ‘contemplated disciplinary action’ letter. My best advice here is ‘call in an expert’. They may spot an error in VOSA’s case, or find a wrinkle in the regulations – and from what I’ve seen, paying their fee will be money well spent.
Finally, problem or not, remember – there’s always something to learn from the experience.
This article previously appeared in MOT Testing Magazine.
To subscribe telephone
0208 998 6742 or visit the subscriptions page on our website:
MOT Workshop Magazine