Ten tips to keep your MOT business on track

technician under car

In this article: Keep your MOT business in perfect working order by following these 10 important tips

Running any business requires a certain amount of attention to detail, so that you have all your administration up to date and equipment is correct, in working order and easily accessible.

It’s no different if you run an MOT business, but it’s simple enough to make sure everything is in order by following the below tips:

1. Make sure your contingency documents are up to date?

It’s common to find the old ones, but you need a copy of a CT20 and CT30. If you can’t find them, don’t worry, you can print or download these forms from the MOT Tester’s homepage. If you have the right versions, they will have CT20/1.1 or CT30/1.1 at the bottom of the page.

You can keep these electronically or print one and keep it to photocopy, whatever you do, just make sure they’re secure. You shouldn’t be giving these to the garage next door as its printed with the details of the issuing station. There is no longer an advisory document, but you can always add advisories to section six of the CT20 document.

2.  Where’s your appeals form?

As with the contingency documents, a VT17 appeals form is available online, however the Guide to Testing requires MOT stations to issue this if requested, so you’re better off know exactly where it is.

3. Check your gas leak detector spray

If you haven’t had reason to use it, you could end up needing it but finding the can is empty or its just missing, so don’t become complacent, make sure its full and exactly where it should be.

4. Don’t overlook your decelerometer

Many calibration agents won’t calibrate the decelerometer, and coupled with a two-yearly calibration period means that its easily overlooked. But if you want to stay on top of things, make sure it isn’t overlooked.

5.    Get the right tyre tread depth gauge

That old “green foot” tyre tread depth gauge is ok, isn’t it, especially as it’s on the DVSA’s list of acceptable equipment. However, DVSA won’t run your business for you, it’s up to you to select the best equipment to meet your needs. Digital gauges are far more accurate and I often find tyres that are “advisories” when measured with a green foot, yet become a clear-cut case of illegal at, for instance, say 1.57mm using a digital instrument.
Many garages supply a grotty old green foot, which falls into disuse as the tester starts using his own digital gauge, but you need to be cautious, make sure whatever device is being used is one on the list of acceptable equipment. And a device that meets all the relevant standards should only cost roughly £50 and will pay for itself quickly.

6. Keep your MOT notice board clean and clear

One of the first things a DVSA visitor looks at is your notice board. Its DVSA’s tiny bit of corporate image, yet often the notices are untidily arranged, out of date, faded, the cover is fractured with browning Sellotape repairs. Often, it’s so bad a large pot plant is used by the receptionist to hide the eyesore. You wouldn’t treat the corporate image of your business with such contempt, so why your MOT authorisation?

7. What’s being Tested now?

Yep, that’s it, right now. If you’re a manager, do a snap check. Who is logged on to a test now? Firstly, is it a vehicle that should be being tested by your garage? Next, is it on site? Is the tester? Is it on a two-poster ramp, having a service and MOT combined? (Hopefully not, Ed). I visited one of the garages I work for on a Saturday morning, and the owner phoned me and asked me why I was limping. He was taking a squint at the CCTV to see who was doing what while he had breakfast. Wise man! Make a simple record of security checks, so you can prove you do this.

8. That Blue Three Triangles sign

I know, it must be there, after all, you see the front of the garage most days? But it’s odd how they go missing after a repaint, or simply become very faded, but you’re an MOT test centre, show the sign with pride.

9. MOT Viewing

If it’s in the workshop, the oxy acetylene equipment, floor cleaning machine and ladder probably shouldn’t be stored in it, rather put away in the correct place. And if it’s related to CCTV systems, is it ever switched on?

10.  Annual Training

The clock is ticking, and no business stands still, so the sooner you start thinking and implementing a training plan the better. Your IMI can help with this, take a look at the development and training programmes it offers.