(Reading time: 6 - 11 minutes)
Published: Thursday, 05 July 2012 07:23
MOT test time can be a challenging time unless your car is under the government set limit for new vehicles of 3 year or is exempt from the test, however Planet Auto has eased your challenges and solved the problem of a surprise bill with this simple checklist you can carry out yourself - giving you the chance to fix and replace any parts and or issues that will deem an MOT inspector to query your Pass.
A list of vehicles completely exempt from MOT test, for a period of time or completely -
Cars under 3 years old from new
Cars, vans and motorcycles made before 1960
Goods vehicles powered by electricity.
Buses, Lorries and Trailers require something called an Annual test.
11 Pre checks
ALWAYS REMEMBER - Before taking your car for an MOT it is always best to have a good look at the simple parts you may need to check in the test procedure, this pre M. O. T. checklist enables you to do this with the greatest of ease - this type of self pre check list is needed more so, due to the Ministry of Transport introducing charges for a re-test, except in certain test cases, a detailed list of the exceptions can be found on the:-
Official Government MOT site
Remember switch off your engine before looking under the bonnet, and if your working in the engine disconnect your battery too and above all - Always Take Care.
Save yourself some money with this quick Pre MOT checklist and have fun seeing what's what :)
This guide should give you enough of an insite into what is entailed in a Ministry of Transport Test and what to check, repair or replace in order to pass it. The majority of the pre MOT checklist items are easy to carry out , however always take care when checking these pre test check points.
Electrical car lighting checks
This includes all the following in working order:-
Headlights - Low beam & High beam
No. plate lights
Drivers side Fog light
Hazard warning lights or emergency lights
Left and right, front and rear indicators
Rear number plate light
This includes the following:-
Car seatbelts with no tears or slices working buckles & fasteners.
Seat runners & mountings free from rust structurally sound and in correct working order, with no play.
Car mirrors, windscreen, windshield and wipers/washers free from cracks and fitted correctly.
Remember --- Stone chips are acceptable
Doors, locks and handles checks
All car doors should shut correctly, meaning their should be no rattles, and the doors shut completely flush and be completely secure.
External car bodywork & chassis checks
This includes sills, sharp edges e.g. cracked bumpers with protruding edges, the car has to be structurally sound therefore free from corrosion where structure is integral to the vehicle.
Engine bay & Engine component checks for the
Inspection including fuel & brake lines free from rust and fluid.
Exhaust system including CAT if required
The exhaust system including downpipe, manifold & rear silencer have to be sealed correctly, no rattles or excessive emissions, the emission acceptance Level is 14, anything under this is acceptable.
All tyres need to be of the legal tread 1.6m depth across 2 3rds of the complete tire and have no splits, gashes, bulges or illegal repairs e.g. tire wall repairs - including the spare wheel.
The Wheels & bearings need to be in working order with no play.
Suspension checks for the test
All shock absorbers, mountings, boots, bushes need to be free from corrosion and all dampers have to be free from leaks.
The car steering should be smooth this includes the flow and the steering rack if there is any play in the rack this constitutes an MOT Fail, in addition all steering boots, joints & rack have to be in working order with no excessive play.
Foot brake & Handbrake checks
Both the footbrake and handbrake have to be in perfect working order and have to be free from leaks, with no spongyness.
The brakes themselves should be in good condition this includes the brake pipes being in working order with no perishing / no leaks and both rear cables to the handbrake fitted correctly with no overhanging cables.
The vehicle also should not pull either way when braking or respond with irregular movement e.g. snatching.
Hope the checklist has been some help, feel free to print the guide or post the address on your site, in return we will post a link to your website on ours.
Always try and get a word of mouth recommendation for your MOT test. Going to a UK garage recommended by family or friend can save you a huge amount of hassle and more importantly money.
A few tips to help your Pre test checks go a little smoother
These MOT checks are relatively simple, if you have a smalll knowledge of cars, the best way is for two people to carry out the pre test checks. In the case of testing the car's electrics, the best way to tackle this is - One operate the car electrics e.g. indicators, brakes etc, the other look to see whether they work satisfactorily.
Here are the latest ammendments to the UK MOT Test including 2012, 2014 and 2015
Electronic parking brake
The Electronic parking brake EPB controls now included in test, an EBP must be present and not modified or incorrectly repaired, meaning as to adversely affect the roadworthiness of a vehicle or improperly modified in order to seriously weaken any Electronic parking brake components.
(The statement 'inappropriately repaired or modified' is applicable to to a wide range of new vehicle MOT applications i.e. systems and components)
NOTE: Any vehicle will fail the test if an Electronic Parking Brake (EBP) warning light is illuminated to display any malfunction.
Electronic Stability Control (EBC)
Anti-lock brakes (ABS) has now been extended to include Electronic Stability Control when fitted. The MOT tester will check there is a working and in operable condition an ESC malfunction warning light together non modified wiring, this includes a missing component.
The MOT test now has the addition of various warning light, which had previously been exempt all new lights need to operate correctly, and not be modified;
Headlight main beam warning light
Electronic power steering (EPS) (PAS) warning light
Brake fluid level warning light
Seat belt pre-tensioner warning light
Suspension & steering
The new test includes a steering lock check where fitted as standard.
Missing, or split/damaged dust covers on any steering and or suspension ball-joints will result in MOT test failure
The Power steering fluid reservoir level must be adequately topped in other words above the min level marked on the fluid reservoir.
Any products / modifications on the light source or lens that significantly diminish the light's intensity or change the colour of the native lighting setup will become a result in failure – these apply to front/rear lamps, number plate lamps, brake lamps, rear fog and signal indicators,
High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps are now included in the VOSA MOT test.
Any car fitted with HID lamps has to have working and non modified levelling and or working cleaning systems, the car etc will fail if the system id in opperative or otherwise obviously defective.
Incorrectly aimed headlamp bulbs if not seated correctly will resulting in an incorrect / dazzling beam pattern will be failed.
Electrical wiring and battery
An insecure or leaking car battery is now cause for failure.
Insecure or bare wiring, likely to cause a short will result in failure.
Trailer / caravan electrical socket
All trailers and caravans will be required to have a basic security/damage check of all 7-pin sockets installed, any 13-pin sockets will be tested and checked including full electrical connectivity and incorrectly connected or inoperative circuits will result in failure.
Any tyre pressure monitoring systems fitted to vehicles 1st registered after 1 January 2012 must be working in accordance with the vehicles manufacturer and not indicating a malfunction.
Supplementary safety restraints
If any airbag fitted as original equipment maunfactured (OEM) is obviously missing or defective the vehicle will fail.
A seatbelt pre-tensioner fitted as OEM, missing or deployed will be a reason for failure.
Fitted as standard seatbelt load limiters that are missing or folding webbing type limiters that have deployed will result in failure.
Any vehicle will also fail if a Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) malfunction indicator lamp shows an SRS malfunction.
Speedometer / Speedo / Oddometer
Any car without a speedometer not fitted, incomplete, inoperative, has any dial glass broken/missing or lack of illumination will result in failure.
The driver seat must be possible to secure the seat fore and aft in no less than 2 different seating positions, electrically adjusted seats the motors must move the seat fore and aft.
An unopenable rear door from outside is a failure. All doors should be easily opened, locks, hinges etc are now inspected.
Modifications or inappropriate reapirs to the towbar assembly will be a reason for failure.
A missing catalytic convertor fitted as original equipment, missing or modified will be a reason for failure.
In addition from February 2014 the Exhaust check will include a check for a Diesel Particulate Filter(DPF) , if one had been fitted, then removed this will result in an MOT test failure.
Damaged, corroded or chafed fuel pipes will result in failure.
Number plates (Registration plate)
All plates must conform UK registration laws meaning no modified plates, fonts, spacing, backing material etc.
2013 MOT Test new additions
No warning lights on your dashboard, no exceptions
TIP : You do not need two fog lights only the drivers side!!!
TIP : You only need your interior mirror and drivers mirror.
TIP : You do not need door locks which are visible for a Test.
TIP : Look for leaking lines & liquids around these areas.
TIP : It will be noticable if the exhaust is blowing, due to a higher tone.
TIP : A tell tale sign of a bearing on its way out is a whirr from the wheel when cornering usually only in one direction.
TIP : A good way to test the shocks is the bounce test if you push the car down on one corner, and it returns the shock is generally ok.
TIP : The best way to find excessive play on a steering rack, is to turn the steering wheel when stationary, if the steering wheel turns, but the wheels DON'T, you have a worn steering rack.
(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)
Published: Thursday, 05 July 2012 07:23
Car import guide for the UK
Welcome to the easy guide to importing a car, whether its a Parallel or a Grey import... wait a minute, don't worry we will explain everything as well as showing you what to do to save you money, minimise challenges, also what to do when you get it onto British soil, MOT etc.
This page tells you what you need to do in order to bring a vehicle in to the UK, included is :-
The different between both types of import vehicles
Tips on mimising problems in the process
How to register a vehicle once back in the UK
The pros and cons of buying each type of import
Vehicle laws, costs and a general overview
There is also more information here:-
Imported car types
A detailed customer guide to the difference between a Grey & Parallel imports.
Where do I start when importing a car into the UK?
The easy part of importing a car is choosing what car you want, whether its a Nissan Skyline or Acura NSX Type R, the process is the same. As for the next part, this is usually considered as the hard part of the importing process. However with our easy import guide we make it childs play - we help you weigh up whether it is worth doing, by explaining the whole process.
Import options - main dealer overseas or specialist export dealer
When you start looking at overseas vehicles, you have two types to choose from :-
We recommend you check the prices in Europe first, usually cars purchased and imported in the EU (European Union) excluding the UK are often far cheaper than Britain. For example, in Germany or the Netherlands, you could expect to save around 20% on the UK price. A list of main dealers in the EU is available from all major car manufacturers in the United Kingdom.
Cars available in the UK as well as on import.
Either you can source a car yourself from a country e.g. Japan or the US or you can search the UK for specialist importers who will carry out everything including exporting the car, transactions and converting it for use on UK roads.
Cars only available outside the EU.
The whole Car Import Process
Always try and use a main dealer and contact them by telephone if at all possible, this helps peace of mind, and gives you a port of call in the event of any problems.
The language barrier, unless you're importing from Ireland this is where the spoken tongue could be a problem. Just ensure they understand what you're after.
Once you're happy, check the following:
The exporter car company knows which country the car is being imported to.
The vehicle is exactly what you want, import cars can vary widely, always ensure all your import requirements and the specification is in black & white including the price, delivery date etc, this eliminates slip-ups and covers all eventualities when collecting your import vehicle.
The vehicle, if a parallel import must be a UK right-hand drive model with a UK setup e.g. MPH not KPH, and the headlights should be set for UK roads. If any or all of these points are still non-UK they could affect your insurance. The broker may even refuse to insure the auto.
Make sure you identify all hidden charges or excess payments before making the transaction.
Check to see if the exporter has proof of UK residency.
Paying for your imported car and taking delivery
The next part of the process should only be carried out when you are completely happy to proceed, as you need to pay a deposit. This secures the car, however do not pay the complete price at this stage. Some import dealers may prefer or even insist on wire transfer or bankers draft in their chosen currency. Always ensure you receive written confirmation.
TIP: Pay with a credit card for your deposit, this adds peace of mind and safegards the process. This also gives you a case for your credit card company.
This is where the process varies, dependant on whether you have a parallel or a grey. You must decide whether to get a company to carry out the complete import or if you prefer to pick the vehicle up yourself overseas.
Collecting your imported car
Waiting for your import car to be delivered to the main dealer can take an age so be prepared for a few delays and long wait. It may take a matter months from ordering your import vehicle to delivery at the main dealer.
TIP: Check for last minute inflation on your cars price, if possible try and agree a price on the import car as soon as you have confirmed your order.
The day arrives ... your import car has arrived, before you set off to pick up your new car check you have :
Car insurance - with the correct cover for the country you are visiting
Proof of identity - Passport
Driving license - full UK license
When liaising, explain you are collecting the motor from abroad and that the vehicle will display temporary plates whilst shipping to the UK. Make sure you have been issued with a chassis number or at the least you know where it is situated and finally get evidence of Type Approval, and a Certificate of Conformity usually proving the import car meets with EU safety standards - this document is needed when registering the vehicle in the United Kingdom.
Now you should settle the outstanding bill and its time for a hearty handshake and final confirmation that the car has temporary export registration or transit plates in preparation for shipping.
Back in the United Kingdom
When you return, make sure you register and license your new import car ASAP. This should take around 14 days, however expect a calendar month at peak periods.
How to register an imported car and paying the VAT
Any vehicle registration office (VRO) will issue you with the necessary forms to register your import car.
You need the V55/4 or V55/5 for used import vehicles.
When handing in this form you must also produce:
Import registration fee £38
Foreign registration document
Evidence of date vehicle was imported (sales invoice)
Customs Excise import form
Type Approval certificate
British MOT test certificate if over 3 years
Newness declaration V267
Identity proof with address
Now you can happily drive your new motor on UK roads without fear of breaking the law.