Have been an Mot tester in excess of 15 yrs,  currently employed as freelance tester through an agency, most of my testing is now done on a one person test lane.




12 comments so far

  1. Edward Hatfield on

    I have a personal number plate. L10 NEH. I alter the spacing to make it read LION EH. Because I am a member of the Cambridge Lions club.

    My MOT tester checked the law. Phoned the local inspector and decided I was legal and passed the car. The local police think differently and I had re install L10 NEH.
    Who is right??

  2. an Mot tester on

    Unfortunately for you the local police are correct,


    section 6.3 pages 4 & 5 will give you a visual check of the layouts permitted.

    The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 at


    section 14.3.7

    (7) The horizontal spacing between groups of characters in a mark must be that shown in
    line 5 of Table B in relation to the relevant character height.

    also refer to groups of characters and their correct spacing.

  3. stephen on

    hi there failed my MOT on 3 things but one i dont know what part i need so could you explain the part i need please.Suspension…suspension joint/movement excessive,nearside front lower ball joint. regards stephen.

  4. an Mot tester on

    Without knowing the make, model and year of your vehicle it is a little difficult to offer advice, with a little more information I may be able to offer some help.

    • stephen on

      sorry,fto gr 1995 thanks for quick reply.

  5. an Mot tester on

    In your case it appears that you’ll have to replace the complete suspension arm as the balljoint is an integral part. Unfortunately not as cheap and easy perhaps as a Fiesta, I found an online image at


    Part numbers different for left and right obviously, but should perhaps give you an idea as to how deep your pocket needs to be

  6. stephen on

    thank you, your gentleman, great site many thanks .stephen

  7. Hi, love your blog. I just wondered whether the online mot history is enough evidence to prove that the dealer sold me an unsafe car, as it had a dangerous mot abandonment before it was taken to another centre and passed and it still has the same faults now, that I only was made aware of when I took it into my local garage to have the power steering fixed. They said it was too corroded and dangerous for me to waste money and the faults were there when I bought it 7 months ago. I took it to the dealer yesterday who claimed to have repaired it in an afternoon. I want to take this further but would like a professional opinion as to whether the online evidence is proof the fault was there when i bought it. Thanks.

    • an Mot tester on

      Hi Anna,
      My initial thoughts are that yes the online mot history proves that the test was abandoned and the vehicle was dangerous to drive if the initial tester recorded it as such, however the “dangerous to drive” is only the testers opinion.
      Your local garage said it was too corroded and dangerous

      I’m assuming in this case that the faults were corrosion related and within the prescribed areas, it could have been repaired to the minimum standard to get it through the mot, it is possible to do so in an afternoon, but there are ways and means that corrosion can be hidden by unscrupulous SH car dealers.
      If you can be sure that the dealer was the same presenter for both Mots then you could well have a case that the faults were there when you purchased the car and that he had knowledge that the faults were there.
      Your local garage are obviously of the opinion that faults are longstanding, however unless a testing station their standards are likely to be higher than the minimum required for Mot. Consider 7/10 as a service limit, Mot limits are 3/10 so obviously a lot lower standard.

  8. Mike on

    Hi, great blog and I am surprised so many cars get so bad as some of the examples. Been looking up wife’s Corsa on honestjohn’s history as it failed on coil spring yesterday and looking at your photos of brake pads as I wanted to know legal limit (1.5mm I know now but seems rather thin) because it will need those in a couple of years.

    Coil spring seems common according to HJ, but I also see other failures for 2002 Corsas include trafficator arms and leaf springs ??? I wish all MoT testers could use a computer as well as yourself!

  9. Matthew on

    If a car has several advisories about corrosion that is not excessive, can it be remedied or will it just get progressively worse?

    • an Mot tester on

      If the corrosion is not excessive, a little work at the early stages can keep it in check for a while, however without replacing the corroded areas with new steel, ie cutting out the corroded area and welding in panels, all you can do is try to keep it in check with the knowledge that it will continue to corrode whatever steps you take.

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