I was wondering what happens behind the scenes after I hand over my van?

Is just a visual check/ check with appropriate test equipment?

Do they take anything apart?

1 Answer 1


When you use the term MOT then I assume that you are in the UK.

The test does have things that are visually inspected, steering joints shocks, lights for function and direction etc

But some things are physically tested such as the braking force on each wheel, balance across the axle, parking brake force. Also wipers and washers for function and on commercial trucks things like the AdBlue system are checked as well as tachographs.

They do not take things apart though, so they don't remove the head to check pistons etc.

You can ask - some places have a viewing window or area so you can see them doing the test but it does depend.

  • I think you are legally entitled to watch the MOT, as far as I know they are legally obliged to have a viewing area
    – Dave Smith
    Sep 4, 2018 at 14:43
  • @DaveSmith I’m sure that is true for cars but whether it is true for the heavy goods testing stations I’m not sure... a waiting area yes.
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 4, 2018 at 14:48

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