Making vehicle technical information available

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We’ve received lots of feedback about making technical information about specific vehicles available on the MOT testing service. We understand that this would help you to make decisions on how to test complex components safely.

We’ve already done some work to investigate how we can introduce this to the MOT testing service and we’ve planned more work for the near future.

What happened to VSI?

On the old ‘MOT Comp’ service we provided Vehicle Specific Information (VSI) to testers.

VSI provided information such as VIN location, brake testing weight, ABS presence and lighting test sequence, and the type of roller brake test required.

Before we made the move to the new MOT testing service, our management and technical standards teams reviewed VSI with VTS council members.

During the review, we picked up lots of positive feedback on VSI but we also identified several problems with it. For instance, it was hard to pick the right vehicle in some cases, so for many tests the wrong VSI ended up being used.

Also, some information was incomplete and much of it wasn’t very specific to the vehicle. So it didn’t always do what it said on the tin!

The review and user feedback revealed that brake testing weight information was essential. We introduced this function as one of the first updates and attached this information to specific vehicles so you don’t need to search for them. There were a few problems with this data to begin with, but we’re gradually fixing any issues with it. 

We always intended to make more technical information about specific vehicles available on the MOT testing service. Unfortunately, this has taken us a little longer than we originally planned.

Providing the right technical information

We’re continuing to review your feedback and we’re looking at what technical information you need.

You’ve told us that you want the service to provide information on:

  • whether a vehicle can be roller brake tested
  • how to test electro mechanical parking brake systems
  • anti-lock braking system lamp operation
  • adaptive air suspension
  • tyre pressure monitoring systems
  • original fitment of CATs and DPFs

Please let us know in the comments what you think about the above list. Is this what we should be looking at, and which of these should be our priority?

It might be that we don’t introduce all the changes at once. There could be different options for different types of information. For example, some technologies are fitted to all vehicles from a certain date.

This means the way we source that type of information will be different to the specific information on a braking system that only applies to vehicles with a particular engine or transmission fitment.

We want to avoid testers using the wrong information. So whatever solution we do come up with, we know that this information needs to be clear and easy to use.

We’ll continue working on how best to deliver this and we’ll update you as we make progress.

Keep sending us feedback

One of the other useful pieces of feedback we’ve had is that it would be helpful to let testers add technical information that they know. We’ll need to give this some thought to determine how this could work, but the principle sounds great, and it’s something we’ll look into.

Please keep commenting on the blog and using the feedback link to tell us what technical information you need.

Making this information available is something we’re looking into as a matter of priority - so watch this space.


  1. Neil

    I got talking to DVSA agent the other day. He was saying that the VSI is not coming back because of "who takes the brunt" if something goes wrong!...Is this true??

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    • Chris (DVSA)

      Hello Neil,

      That's just not true. We're currently finalising requirements and development on this and will start testing how it works in March. All things going well, we will look to make the first cut of this information available to everyone towards the end of April 2017.

      We'll update you on the blog with more information about this closer to the time.

      Kind regards,


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  2. Nick

    Definitely need jacking info onvehicles with air suspension the does and the don't. And also info relating to epb

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  3. peter beaumont

    cant wait until v.s.i is back, for me many v.s.i's are from memory but how would a new tester know for example how to brake test the rear axle on an a-class merc or how to jack a citroen c5 with chassis number vf7??? not to mention range rover elec parking brake?
    for me the most important part of v.s.i was how to conduct certain brake tests, D.P.F & T.P.M.S not so important as the testing manual is very clear on these issues.

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  4. steve

    EPB information is much needed

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  5. craig

    yes totally agree could never understand why vsi was removed as everyone i spoke to said it was really useful

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    • Darren Robinson

      Craig it was removed as they changed from the old system to the new, and they did not own the information contained within it.

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  6. Graham

    When you enter results you have ododmeter, defects and brake results. How about adding an emmisions section with a simple pass fail option. I have failed a few emmisions but forgot to write it down on my check sheet and ended up passing the car. This is my fault of course but a little reminder on results page would be nice!

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  7. Aaron

    Roller brake testing,electric handbrake and air suspension jacking.

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  8. John

    All the mentioned item's in a VSI would be extremely useful and save a lot of time searching for information to allow the test to be carried out.

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  9. John

    Although it wasn't used often, when you needed
    Some information on jacking points, brake application etc it was very helpful to have VSI,
    So bring it back...please

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  10. Graham

    How about putting vehicle class on inspection sheet. After logging on there is no way to check what class it is incase you think you may have registered it wrong

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  11. pete

    agree 100% with the return of vsi, without this some high end vehicles may get damaged

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  12. Simon Ott

    I'd like information on Headlight Cleaning devices. If there's no manual in the car you can waste ten minutes trying five washes, or nine, or searching for the little switch on the dash or hidden behind a stalk. Does it work on dip or main or either?

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  13. craig

    definitely needs bringing back . Especially for brakeS and adaptive suspension, many of these suspension systems can be damaged if not put into the correct mode before jacking

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  14. David

    1. RBT- Yes
    2. Testing EPB- Yes
    3. ABS lamp- No
    4. Air susp.- Yes
    5. TPMS- No
    6. CATs and DPFs- No

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  15. Kelvin

    Informative on electric hand brake is a must and take priority.

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    • Steve Hallworth

      Yes losing VSI (even though it had its problems) was a real retrograde step. Thank goodnes you are bringing it back

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    • Peter Wilkins

    • Neil

      yes. very important. Range rovers for example need to be put into bedding cycle pre test other wise by applying PB you are purely just testing the service brake.

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  16. steve

    So looking at all the comments about VSI, Exactly who did you ask in the survey? Obviously it wasn't testers! Us testers are the people on the ground , maybe we should be asked next time DVSA want to change something

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    • richard

      I'm surprised as well it was removed, I had a phone conversation with regards the removal of the VSI's & was told we (testers) didn't really use it enough to warrant keeping it in. To be honest I dont know any testers that were happy with the removal of it.

      I'd have thought they could embed a link into the vehicle you've just selected on the computer & that would take you to all the relevant info you need & possibly a video to show correct testing techniques.

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  17. bob

    WELL a bit late but i hope all the vsi stuff comes back as on many vehicles with out the vsi info you will damage the car and who is paying for the damage? citroen c4 picaso some have air suspension on the rear and there is a button in the nsr 1/4 to lock and unlock rear suspension so as not to damage it when jacking up.
    a class merc you have to pump the brake pedal before brake roller then switch the engine off.
    there are load more of this sort of info but you cant remeber them all.
    if you have just got your mot licence god help you as all the above you would have never seen before.
    wee are all like mushrooms in the dark

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  18. Roy

    Fully agree.

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  19. Lee

    Well. The new system is a vast improvement and it does take time to get everything right on preceedures of this magnitude. It has definitely come a long way. But the vsi was a great valued loss. But I agree there is a huge amount of info on auto data that could be linked. But hey in my opinion if Vosa and the Dvsa can't get the info right how the hell can they expect us to. Also why is it not just a case of getting the manufacturers to give them the correct info

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  20. Chris Ives

    Would it sound sarcastic to say ABOUT TIME, would it be too much to consider links to information provided by manufacturers?

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  21. Amvs

    If in doubt talply it that's why we have it it's not difficult

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  22. peter

    We (testers) should be able to update details that are incorrect to the particular vehicle we are testing. It should be easier to go back a screen to make changes/corrections than it is.

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  23. Rich

    We definitely need the how to engage epb test mode range rovers are terrible for this

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    • Nkaka

      I assume that is how the "GRADIENT" brake testing came about ,to minimise the hustle !

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  24. Dale

    Info on how to disengage air suspension, or put a vehicle in jacking mode. The info can be time consuming to find online.

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  25. Rizwan

    Vsi was a great help with loads of information I really don't understand why you would of not included it in the new system!
    Bring all of vsi back without it every individual would need a hell of a lot of info stored in there brains

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  26. Adrian Kettle

    Quick access on how to test EPB for different models seems essential in my opinion.

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  27. jerry

    with brakes we need to know mainly if a vehicle, be it 4wd or with epb can be roller brake tested, and any process required to carry this out without causing problems for the tester.
    (ie can it be done on rbt or dose it need a decerometer test or a mix of both). i kept some information noted from previous test,but as time gose on this will be out of date.

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    • bob

      auto data does not have any vsi info on i proved this to our local mot inspector on our last site assesment

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  28. Neset Ceri

    Autodata has it all. Why doesn't DVSA pay them some money and link the relevant items (not everything) to MOT test

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  29. joe

    vsi was great techinal help 90 % of the time. bring it back.

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  30. Thealmightygodallah

    I think this is a great idea. The roller brake testing notification would be a nice touch along with fwd-rwd-awd advisory for people with there brake tester before there ramp testing sequence

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    • steve tamlyn

      Definitely need info on how to disengage range rover electronic handbrakes for decelorometer test.
      used to be in vsi,but now takes ages to to find info.on line

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  31. Chris

    All good info anything like this will help.

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  32. Graham

    How about information on Hybrid and full electric vehicle specific test procedures?

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  33. geoff

    Truly for once it seems we are being helped instead of hindering the humble tester,Which by the way the majority do an outstanding job

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  34. Peter Hedges

    At last sooner the better

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  35. RH

    Thank goodness you are bringing this back. It is very difficult to find reliable info.

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