2 Weeks ago I had my Vauxhall Antara in for a full service and MOT to of which it passed. On getting the car back i noticed on a couple of occasions that the handbrake wasnt engaging properly on a hill and even a very slight incline and the car would roll backwards. Even when left in gear. It has now gone back to the Vauxhall dealer and on examination they have told me that there is something wrong and it will cost a min of £130 to fix. My question is should this not have been picked up when it went in for it's MOT and if so failed.


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    Do the MOT inspectors take anything apart when inspecting, or is it only done on rollers checking how well the brakes hold and the braking bias between sides? Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


The checks to be performed on a vehicle's handbrake are defined in section 3.1 of the VOSA MOT Inspection Manual.

They are pretty rudimentary, essentially checking that there is one, it works on two wheels and doesn't disengage spontaneously.

The additional checks for electronic handbrakes above manual handbrakes simply state:

7. On vehicles with an electronic parking brake, operate the switch to release and apply the parking brake and check that a malfunction is not indicated.

This may not have picked up the problem that you are experiencing.

  • Along these lines, it could also be the e-brakes hold enough to pass the test, yet are not enough to hold in the real world situation ... or maybe that's what you're saying? I'm dense sometimes. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 13:34
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2: Yes, that's what I'm saying. The test isn't particularly rigorous for handbrakes. Especially when compared to the following section of the manual - for the main braking system - which is several pages longer and a lot more detailed!
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 13:39

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