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This Manual is a detailed guide to the inspection for statutory MOT testing of the following classes:

Class III: 3 wheeled vehicles not more than 450 kg unladen weight (excluding motorbicycles with side cars).
Class IV: Cars, including 3 wheeled vehicles more than 450 kg unladen weight. Taxis, Minibuses and Ambulances up to 12 passenger seats. Goods Vehicles not exceeding 3000 kg Design Gross Weight (DGW), Motor Caravans and Dual Purpose Vehicles.
Class VII: Goods Vehicles over 3000 up to and including 3500 kg DGW If a vehicle is presented with a manufacturer’s and a ’Ministry’ plate the weights to be used are those on the
’Ministry’ plate.

Detailed definitions are given in the MOT Testing Guide.

Tricycles and Quadricycles are tested under classes III or IV and hese vehicles can present particular problems at mot test, especially when motorcycle dcrived steering and/or suspnsion components are fitted.

Section 9 of this manual provides additional information for testing these types of vehicles, with the exception of sub-section 9.2. This replaces Sections 2.1 and 2.2 of this manual, where motorcycle derived steering and/or suspension components are fitted.

Table to determine the vehicle class and test requirements for Tricycles and Quadricycles
Vehicle Type Description Tested in Class
Moped Three wheeled vehicle with max speed of 45Km/h, not over 50cc for a petrol engine or 4KW for any other engine or electric motor, not more than 450kg ULW III
Moped Three wheeled vehicle with max speed of 45Km/h, not over 50cc for a petrol engine or 4KW for any other engine or electric motor, more than 450kg ULW IV
Motor Tricycle Three wheeled vehicle with wheels symmetrically arranged, a max speed over 45km/h, or engine size over 50cc, not more than 450kg ULW. III
Motor Tricycle Three wheeled vehicle with wheels symmetrically arranged, a max speed over 45km/h, or engine size over 50cc, more than 450kg ULW. IV
Light Quadricycle (Classed as Moped) Four wheeled vehicle with a max ULW of 350kg, max speed of 45km/h and not over 50cc for a petrol engine or 4KW for any other engine or electric motor. IV
Quadricycle Four wheeled vehicle with a max ULW of 400kg (500kg for a goods vehicle) with a max net power of 15KW IV

MOT Inspection
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If any of the above vehicles are electrically powered, their unladen weight must not include the weight of the batteries.
If there is any doubtabout the power output or the weight of the vehicle, the vehicle presenter must provide documentary evidence.

Refusal to test

This manual does not include the reasons for refusing to test a vehicle in the Reasons for Rejection columns.

VTS’s may only test those classes and types of vehicle that they are authorised to test and which are of a size and weight that can be accommodated by the authorised equipment.

If any of the following reasons apply, the test should not be carried out, the vehicle presenter informed and any fee paid for the test must be returned. It is therefore advised that ’refusal’ items are checked before starting the test.
The reasons for refusing to carry out the test are:

a. The registration document or other evidence of the date of first use is not produced if the information therein, is necessary for the test to be carried out.
Note: Normally this evidence is only necessary if the vehicle has a ’cherished’ registration mark or if the registration mark’s year letter does not make clear the standard that should be applied - for instance, regarding seat belt requirements for D prefix vehicle.

b. The vehicle, or any part or equipment on the vehicle is so dirty that examination is unreasonably difficult.

The vehicle is not fit to be driven when necessary to complete the test because of a lack of fuel, or oil, or for any other reason

The NT considers insecurity of a load or other items would prevent a proper test being carried out - unless the load is secured or removed.

The VTS asks for the fee to be paid in advance and this is not

The vehicle emits substantial quantities of avoidable

A proper examination cannot be carried out because any door, tailgate, boot, engine cover, fuel cap or other device designed to be readily opened cannot be readily opened.

h. The condition of the vehicle is such that, in the opinion of the NT, a proper examination would involve a danger of injury to any person or damage to the vehicle or other property. This would cover, refusal to test a diesel where the engines maintenance history or condition is suspect.

In addition to this an NT must decline to test any vehicle that is not of a class they are authorised to test or it is of such a size, weight or configuration it cannot be properly or safely tested on the approved facilities

If despite due care initially, it becomes apparent during a test that the test cannot be completed for one of the above reasons, you must fail the vehicle because the test could not be satisfactorily completed.

Any re-examination and fee must be in line with normal policy (see Fees and Appeals poster) treating the component which could not be examined, as a failure item.

Inspection procedure

The entire test should be carried out by one NT whose name is on the list of NT’s with suitable assistance when necessary. The whole of the test should be carried out without interruption.

The diagrams on pages 8 and 9 show a typical inspection routine which will aid the tester in making a thorough inspection of a vehicle. This routine might have to be varied to suit different test bay layouts and test equipment types.

For example, at some testing stations, where the roller brake tester is positioned in advance of the lift or pit, it might be more convenient to conduct the brake performance test before inspecting the underside of the vehicle on the lift or pit.
This practice is permissible, but it must be noted that a tester should not proceed with the brake performance test if there is a defect which could cause;

• Injury to any person;
• Or damage to the vehicle or other property.

It is advisable to examine, as far as possible, the underside of a vehicle before carrying out a brake performance test.

A full inspection must be made on a vehicle presented for test or re-examination except for permitted free re-examinations (fees and appeals poster).

Re-examination following failure

If the vehicle stays at the test station for repair you must carry out a partial re-examination of all the failed items including those affected by the repair.
If the vehicle leaves the test station having only failed on one or more of the items listed on the fees and appeals poster and is returned before the end of the next working day - carry out a partial examination.
In any other case a full examination must be carried out.

Recording defects

Dangerous defects
If in the opinion of the NT the vehicle has a dangerous defect, which is also a test failure; record in the reason for failure column and box C of the VT 30. If the vehicle has a dangerous defect which is not a testable item and the vehicle has failed its test, record the defect in box C of the VT 30.

If the vehicle has passed its test, issue an advisory document explaining the nature of the defect with the VT 20. In all cases dangerous defects should be clearly explained to the vehicle presenter.

Other Defects
The vehicle presenter should be notified of:

• Any items which are near to, but which have not yet reached the point of test failure.
• Any peculiarities of the vehicle identified during the the inspection, for example front passenger seat not fitted.
• Any defects on non-testable items which are found during the inspection procedure.
Advisory items should ideally be noted on a numbered and dated sheet, such as a checklist, a copy of which should be retained by the VTS. A reasonable alternative to this practice is acceptable.

Testing Personnel

Inspections must be carried out by a qualified NT with an assistant
working under supervision.

In appropriate cases, the person submitting the vehicle (’the vehicle presenter’) is permitted to act as an assistant, if they are willing, the NT is satisfied with their competence and that all Health and Safety requirements are met. For example, the vehicle presenter will normally be capable of operating light switches etc., but might not be able to properly push, pull or lever road wheels etc.

Only the NT carrying out the inspection is empowered to make a decision about the results of the inspection of a particular item.

The MOT Testing Guide

The Guide explains what is required of people and organisations authorised to conduct statutory tests on certain motor vehicles. It includes amongst other things, the definitions of vehicle classes and dual purpose vehicles. It explains how to complete test documentation.

It also includes details of application, disciplinary procedures, and training requirements.

At least one up to date paper copy of the Guide must be available to testing staff at all times in all testing stations.

Road Testing

The statutory test does not specifically include a road test of the vehicle, except for vehicles which cannot have the performance of the brakes tested on a roller or plate brake tester.

A road test, however, is permitted if the tester considers one is necessary to check the results of an inspection. The tester must be qualified to carry out the road test, and must ensure it is safe to conduct that test.

Health and Safety
AE’s and their staff are reminded that they are obliged to adhere to all relevant Health and Safety Legislation while MOT testing.

Advice can be obtained from your local Health and Safety Enforcement Officer or Local Authority Environmental Health Officers as appropriate.

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