Every vehicle in the UK needs to be tested each year to ensure that it complies with roadworthiness standards. This is a legal requirement. The purpose of the M.O.T. Test is to ensure that cars, other light vehicles (including some Light Goods Vehicles), private buses and Motorcycles over a prescribed age are checked at least once a year to see that they comply with key roadworthiness and environmental requirements.
When your car is tested, the M.O.T. looks at some important items to see if it meets the legal requirements. The M.O.T. certificate is not a guarantee of the general mechanical condition of a vehicle however.
New powers to V.O.S.A. (Vehicle and operator services agency) V.O.S.A. have always had the power to ‘pull over’ to inspect vehicles on the road to ensure that they are safe to drive. Until last year, however, to carry out such roadside checks they had to have the police on hand because they (the police) were the only organisation with powers to stop vehicles. Last summer, however, having been accredited with the power to stop vehicles without the police in attendance, a scheme was piloted in a number of areas where V.O.S.A – on their own – carried out roadside checks.
V.O.S.A staff now have the powers to stop vehicles without any specific fault being apparent. Declaring the pilot scheme successful V.O.S.A now carry out their own checks nationwide whenever they choose. It is interesting to note that in one respect V.O.S.A.’s powers now exceed those of police themselves; for a police car to stop you they need to have a reasonable suspicion that you are doing something wrong; V.O.S.A on the other hand can stop cars at random to check the condition of the vehicle.
This also means that if they choose they could park outside a testing station and stop recently tested vehicles.