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MOT services we’re working on: 9 January 2019

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Changes to the MOT test, MOT testing service, News and updates

An MOT tester looking at a screen showing an MOT pass.

First of all, I’d like to thank all MOT testers and garages for taking on some big challenges last year. The changes to the MOT test in May and the updated MOT testing manual were the biggest.

We’ve got a lot planned for this year, so here’s an extra long edition of 'MOT services we’re working on' telling you what we’ll be getting up to.

Risk ratings

As you’ll be aware, we recently changed how risk rating works. Chris Price explained this in some detail in his recent blog post. We made some substantial changes, including more focus on the work testers do.

There’s been a lot of good feedback and that’s really welcome. Changes like this take time to bed in and we’ll continue to develop risk ratings as time goes on.

Although the majority of garages are very professional, looking at the risk ratings has helped us target those that aren’t doing things properly. If, as a tester, you’re concerned you’re in the amber or red band, take a look at what might be putting you in this category. This can include things like time taken to carry out tests and the types of vehicles you’re testing.

Ratings can and do change. We recognise that this is a particular concern for temporary testers who need to provide information to employers. It would be a good thing if you could show potential employers what you’ve been doing to reduce risks, like appropriate training.

I’m sure you’ll all agree that making it easier for us to spot garages that aren’t doing things properly is a good thing. We'll continue to monitor the risk rating model and will adapt it following your comments on the blog.

Annual assessment – don’t leave it too late

One of the things we now look at as part of site reviews is a garage’s approach to staff training. This is one of the things that forms part of the overall risk score for a garage - especially their approach to organising testers’ annual training and assessment.

Experience from previous years has shown it’s sensible to do your training and assessment in plenty of time. This will leave you time to get any extra training done and to practice what you’ve learned.

You’ll then also have enough time to make sure you record the details of your training and assessment correctly. At your next site review, you’ll be able to show that you have an organised approach to carrying this out.

Progress so far on completing the MOT training and annual assessment is still low. Don’t leave it to the last minute!

Registering vehicles correctly

In previous blog posts we’ve mentioned that we’re looking to try and reduce the number of vehicles registered incorrectly during MOT. This means the result will be registered against the wrong vehicle, which is a problem.

While it might seem like a small thing, it defeats the object of all the hard work we do when results are entered for the wrong vehicle! It also means we spend a lot of time sorting it out, rather than doing useful things to improve the service.

Changing vehicle registration screens

In the next few months, we’ll be making some changes to the vehicle registration screens so the vehicle make, model and colour will be even clearer to help testers get the right match. We’re also getting nearer to allowing plug-in to the vehicle diagnostic port.  This will mean we’ll be able to get the vehicle VIN directly.

In the meantime, it would be great if you could all be extra vigilant when registering vehicles for test. Our research has also shown you need to take the vehicle registration mark and vehicle identification number from the vehicle. You should not get them from a job card or online look-up service.

This will make sure the MOT result is recorded against the right vehicle. Everyone makes mistakes but recording the information in this way will avoid the vast majority of these problems.

Emissions and MIL

The introduction of the MIL (malfunction indicator lamp) to the MOT test has caused confusion for some MOT testers. In several recent blog posts, we've been asked if it's reasonable to fail a vehicle for the MIL even though the tailpipe emission test was okay.

The answer is yes, it’s perfectly reasonable to fail a vehicle for having a lit MIL even if it passes the tailpipe emissions test. Here's why.

Emissions are controlled/measured by various sensors in the engine management system. If the system detects a fault or abnormal reading, then the engine MIL will illuminate. While the vehicle may pass the tailpipe test with the MIL on, emissions are not likely to be within limits during real world driving.

Coming soon

We’ll soon be launching a new, improved messaging page into the MOT testing service. This will make it easier for testers to navigate and find the messages they need to read.

We’ll also be introducing a notifications system to tell testers about service outages and remind them about the annual assessment deadline.

We’ve been working with developers over the past few months to design and develop these features using feedback gathered from MOT testers at garage visits.

In the meantime, here’s a preview of how the new message screen is likely to look.

A screen on the MOT testing service registered to a test user called Bob Thomas Arctor. Top banner has options for 'Home' 'Your profile' and 'Sign out'. The screenshot shows the messages function, including messages in the inbox. The message is for a special notice acknowledgement required which is due in 5 days - action required. There are boxes for selecting message type. They are 'Special notices' 'Notifications' and 'Role Nomination'. There's another message called 'Special Notice 2' and another called 'Message to testers'. There's also an 'Archive' folder in addition to the inbox. At the bottom, there's the option to 'Return to home'.

We’ll be in contact with testers soon to let them know when they should expect to see these new features. 

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  1. Comment by Mike Williams posted on

    As an EX VE (of 25 years service) I am now a consultant, gamekeeper turned poacher, I suppose. One of my VTS recently had a Site Review, using the new format. The VE told him that they have been told to expect the VTS to be at the same standard as the day it was opened. Is this true/correct. I have several VTS which were authorised many, many, many years ago. So I believe it is unrealistic to expect that the initial standard can be maintained.

  2. Comment by Iain Atkins posted on

    hi Julia (DVSA)
    I have just been talking with some local VE’s with regard to further clarification of what is deemed satisfactory, unsatisfactory and needs improvement for the current site assessment criteria. certainly, as we teach the MOT managers course and carry out site visits to garages, having the most up to date information is crucial.

    The local VE have said they have a guide namely the ‘dvsa appendix 15 guidance for assessing a site review March 2018’ or even the latest version if available.

    And looking at how this is laid out with a clear definition of the three areas, this would be invaluable for us to update our online self-assessment system, is there a change we can get a copy of this or an up to date version and guidance notes.

    I have emailed Neil Barlow and Christopher Price, who I have had contact before on the site assessment updates, but as yet no response and we really could do with getting the latest guidance.

    certainly, the old assessment criteria had a detailed guide, if this information is available to VE's why is the same information not available to test stations.

    Regards Iain Atkins
    Premier MOT Training
    0345 459 0231

    • Replies to Iain Atkins>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Ian
      I understand Chris has been in touch with you. You are right, the VEs are using some prompts to help point them at expectations for quality being effectively managed. We are revising that now, and will make the next version available.

  3. Comment by Graham posted on

    I get alot of landrover discovery vans in our place. They are 3240kg DGW and are classed as N1. But i have one in now that has had rear seats put in and is clearly not used as a goods van. It is still an N1 (goods) catagory, manual says N1 between 3001kg - 3500kg is class 7. Mot guide says goods vehicles (nothing about N1 catagory) between 3001 - 3500. It is clearly not used as a goods vehicle. So do i go with common sense and test it as a class 4? Or because it is sill taxed as a LGV do i test it as a class 7?

    • Replies to Graham>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Graham

      This vehicle should be tested as presented, so if they have presented it with the added seats and it now appears to be a passenger vehicle that is what they would test it as. This would appear to make this a class IV. The slight exception to this is in respect of emissions where the guidance in the inspection manual tells you to treat the vehicle “for emissions purposes only as if the vehicle was not converted”. So for emission you would treat this as a goods vehicle and apply the appropriate standard for it’s age and fuel type.

  4. Comment by jooles posted on

    just done the on line assessment ,,one of the questions had me baffled ,no vin on a presented vehicle ,,major ,minor or pass,,well how did i get that far when i didnt have a vin to log the car on to the system,,i dont think i misread the question ,any one shed some light on this,,,

  5. Comment by Stephen Ball posted on


    • Replies to Stephen Ball>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Stephen
      Meters can be purchased to measure window tints but, due to their small numbers, we do not expect garages to do this.

      • Replies to Julia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Martin posted on

        A light meter is not DVSA approved equipment so any outcome derived from it is irrelevant.
        Pass and advise is the only correct answer to this as far as the MOT goes.

  6. Comment by Harry posted on

    May I ask. Why is there no defect under axles for corrosion?
    It was only a year ago, there was a blog on here. Stating "Why it is important to check for corrosion" with a picture of a Fiesta rear axle beam.
    I have recently had a Vauxhall Corsa in, with a serverely corroded rear axle beam. Only to find no defect for corrosion under axles.

  7. Comment by Stephen Mason posted on

    With all the changes that have been made in respect to the inspection of a vehicle. Why is it that the VT29 form shown in Resources on section of the sign in page, is a very old layout and not the latest version.

    • Replies to Stephen Mason>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Stephen

      Thank you for your comment. We're currently looking to update this information shortly.

  8. Comment by Graham posted on

    I have just had a freelander in with a broken cv joint. The driveshaft remains still and the joint spins. The only fails are worn / deteriorated and likely to fail. There isnt a fail for HAS failed or broken up. Can you have a look into this please.

    • Replies to Graham>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Graham
      The failure to use would be 6.1.7 – a transmission joint excessively worn. If the defect can be confirmed as not due to wear this would be a pass.

  9. Comment by castrolrob posted on

    congratulations on the new screen layout,not having to continually scroll down for the items is a help,displaying colour/details at log in rather than afterwards when you can do bugger all but abandon it if wrong is also a nice idea,keep up the good all we need is some meaningful/accurate up to date vsi that wasn't ripped outta the comp 1/siemens version and the system may even become effective.lets start with plate limits/oe dpf fitments,brake instructions,warning lamp info specific to the vehicle under test,correct jacking instructions for same to start with shall we?i know,im being greedy but I can always hope......

  10. Comment by Mark posted on

    Regarding the RAG rating, it’s all very well, but if you have let’s say a succession of vehicles that need their headlamp aims adjusting to pass the Mot test & your rating has changed to reflect this, the tester could see this as a reason to adjust the headlamps on a test rather than PRS & inform the customer their headlamps were out of alignment, you can’t give a tester a Red mark for doing their job!

    • Replies to Mark>

      Comment by annoyed posted on

      well all i can say is thanks went for a job interview the other day to get away from a fast fit center job interview went great up untill the point i was asked about my risk rating i told the gent what it was the gent who was interviewing me explained to me there was green i showed him my tqi and explained to him im in red for amount of tests i do and fails even though its really close to national average he wasnt interested after that got a letter from him saying i wasnt sucessful he didnt put it down to my risk rating but it was funny he wasnt interested after i told him what it was

      • Replies to annoyed>

        Comment by jooles posted on

        i have been saying this all along ,it is going to effect are employment chances ,,but they dont want to listen , the dvsa should never have made are ratings public,, they should have kept them hidden and just monitored,,

  11. Comment by Jim Walker posted on

    If it’s not broke don’t fix it.

  12. Comment by L porter posted on

    Hi what does RAG stand for and where is the abbreviation shown thanks Linda

  13. Comment by Pete S posted on

    So I read via your email that testing services will be unavailable tonight as you yet again make changes to the home screen. Can you please please please leave things alone, just as we testers get used things you change them and I for one am getting fed up with it. So much so that I have already started applying for jobs out of the trade. And, I know for a fact that I'm not only tester thinking of jacking it in.
    Enough is enough.

    • Replies to Pete S>

      Comment by richard posted on

      The update doesn't really hinder you, but to be honest I cant see what its trying to achieve, surely it should be displayed before you hit the start test button & not after you've gone back in to enter the test details.

      • Replies to richard>

        Comment by jooles posted on

        made no sense to me either why they put it at the end of the test ,what are you going to change at that point ,,

    • Replies to Pete S>

      Comment by jooles posted on

      spot on pete,i have never known it this bad , a lot of testers are saying what you have said ,they have had enough of all these changes and are thinking of walking away from testing ,,i have spent most of my years working on hgv,s and vosa did the same a few years back and lost a lot of there older testers because of the changes they implemented,,i can see the dvsa going the same way if they carry on like this,,,,

  14. Comment by tom posted on

    I have been checking my RAG which has recently changed from green to amber,however you do not give any firm guidance on how i can improve my rating ,the RAG rating information is therfore of no practical use to me and it appears there is little point in taking any future notice of it .

    • Replies to tom>

      Comment by richard posted on

      Last month mine was amber much to my disappointment & I couldn't see why or how I could improve on it, this month its green & I've no idea why or how, so something I've done has put me back into green.

    • Replies to tom>

      Comment by bert posted on

      DVSA have said loads of times don't worry about your rating, just test as normal, there are many reasons why you may be in amber, why are so many testers worry about their rating?

      • Replies to bert>

        Comment by dave bs posted on

        tester like myself are paranoid that when our rating changes for the worse, and fear we are being seen to be doing a bad job, the problem is DVSA will not explain exact details and only keep referring the special notice about it, but that special notice is not very clear on exact criteria. i'm am very suspicious of this new rating system and do not trust Dvsa due to there lack of clarity on exact aims they are after, willing to bet this comment will not be posted

      • Replies to bert>

        Comment by richard posted on

        If as you say its amber for a reason & not to worry, then whats the reason for having the system in the first place if you don't know how you can improve on it ?
        I know some are saying take no notice of it & I'm sure some have never looked at it, but the RAG rating must be there for a reason though.To be honest when you do your best at a job & take pride in it, it becomes a bit demoralising when you see your RAG rating going up & down like a yo-yo.

        • Replies to richard>

          Comment by bert posted on

          but you may not need to improve on anything, it may be something simple as the age of the cars you are testing, the length of time you are taking, failure rate etc, doesn't mean you can improve, its there for DVSA to just monitor things

  15. Comment by D. posted on

    For DVSA
    Can a car fail the test if it has too many Minor defects ?
    (no major or dangerous defects)

    • Replies to D.>

      Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

      A car won't fail the MOT if it has a number of Minor defects. However, it is in the interest of the motorist to attend to these as soon as they can to keep their car safe to drive.

  16. Comment by Graham posted on

    What is the new connected site on/off function for? (on mts under vts)

    • Replies to Graham>

      Comment by ianmarsh posted on

      Ian DVSA
      Hi Graham,

      The new one is called – “Connected Site”. This link has been put in for future use and is set to OFF for all sites currently active.
      The feature should be left on OFF – if it does get mistakenly clicked to ON you do not need to call us but simply set it back to OFF.

      It is for ongoing work to connect equipment directly to MTS. There will be further information released as the work develops but we needed the link in place to enable this.

      • Replies to ianmarsh>

        Comment by richard posted on

        "It is for ongoing work to connect equipment directly to MTS."

        This sounds ominous, you'll all probably remember when this was tried with the gas machines quite a few years back & cost garages a lot of money to try & get the gas machines linked up to the smart cards for it to be shelved.

        • Replies to richard>

          Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

          Hi Richard

          It may do at the moment but that’s maybe because you don't have enough information yet. I appreciate we did try something previously, as you say some years ago, but technology has advanced a lot since then. This will be proven before any release to the trade. There will be much more information to read as we go forward.

  17. Comment by Mervyn posted on

    It is all very well having the red/amber/green ratings, but unless what part of the rating system a tester is falling down on, how can we do anything about it. Can we not have more of an indication in 'my profile'.

    • Replies to Mervyn>

      Comment by marcus posted on

      well i checked mine today its went from amber to red not really sure why all fail catageries pretty close to nation average time for test is 45 mins only thing i can see is number of tests i do national average 30 odd mine 108 so get a red for rag for number of tests i do really funny as i did more in december and rag rating was amber