As we go around the country visiting MOT stations we’re often struck by the amount of time and effort put into ensuring MOT viewing area compliance, especially as this MOT requirement seem to be rarely used.

These viewing areas range from the very elaborate with all the latest tech to a safe space in a workshop with a chair or two yet so many MOT Site Managers and AEDMs tell us that no one ever asks to view their MOT.

Most clients prefer to drop their vehicle and go, choosing to collect later when they know it’s ready.  Some will sit in the customer waiting area on their laptop, using the time to catch up on some work (or maybe play the odd game Solitaire on company time!) but the common theme is that they’re only really interested in the result of the test, not what the tester did during the inspection which would probably mean nothing to them anyway!


And yet the DVSA require all MOT stations, big or small, to provide some form of viewing arrangement.

MOT Viewing Areas Compliance – The Official Guidance….

MOT Guide – Section D, Requirements for Authorisation – details the actual requirements, recently updated in Special Notice 04-23.  It states that ALL MOT Testing Stations must provide:

  • a clearly defined weatherproof viewing area from which all stages of the MOT test in progress can be observed safely without interruption, except for road testing (room for 2 seated people is considered sufficient)
  • a sign installed in the customer reception area to alert presenters of vehicles for MOT tests of the presence of the MOT viewing area
  • safe access from the customer reception to the designated viewing area if the viewing area is to be located in the workshop

Alternatively, you may opt to install a fixed display monitor in the customer reception or waiting area to display camera relayed ‘live feed’ images of the whole of the test bay area.  The image displayed on the monitor must be in colour and of good quality but must not be recorded. The monitor must be identified as the MOT viewing facility/area and must not be used for any other purpose.  The monitor must be available to view the test when requested by the vehicle presenter. The relayed images cannot be interrupted or used for other purposes during that period, for example displaying advertisements.

Supplementary monitors (such as portable handheld devices) are acceptable only when a fixed viewing monitor is also available and functional.

The viewing area must have an unrestricted view of all the testing facilities – if this cannot be achieved from one viewing area then additional viewing areas must be provided.


The Penalties for non-compliance…

Even though you know it’s likely to left sitting empty, failure to provide a viewing area can have major repercussions for the Testing Station:

1st/2nd Occurrence = L1 Sanction

3rd Occurrence = L2 Sanction

4+ Occurrences = L2 and L3 Sanctions


Here’s an explanation of those Sanctions:

Level 1 (L1) – Advice will be issued to the AE and/or tester in writing via an MOT advisory warning letter/notice and recorded as an MTS event.

Level 2 (L2) – Testing will be suspended until the case has been answered and rectified satisfactorily. Issued via a temporary suspension notice and recorded as an MTS event.

Level 3 (L3) – A disciplinary case will be submitted for:

  • previous or repeating failures to adhere to MOT testing service rules or test standards, regardless of the previous role or disciplinary outcomes
  • failure to follow DVSA guidance that has been reasonably requested
  • other cases of loss of good repute as defined in Appendix 7: Convictions and repute

So, even if you think your viewing area will probably sit empty, don’t be tempted to ignore the rules. Not complying is serious stuff – it could result in suspension from testing and that could be expensive!


If you’re using a monitor…

Until recently you could say your viewing area was an iPad that was kept in the Service Manager’s cupboard and was dusted off when DVSA asked to see it but not anymore!

A monitor must now be fixed.

Think about what that means for your arrangements

  • Where and how will you “fix” your iPad/monitor?
  • The area MUST have its own sign to say that it’s the MOT Viewing area as well as a sign that says that MOT Viewing is available.
Moving away from technology – let’s say your Viewing Area is a window into the workshop:

  • Do you have the correct signage?
  • Do vehicles. desks, point of sale materials get put in front of the window (and if they do, how will you prevent this going forwards)?
  • Is it covered in posters?
  • Is there an unrestricted view of the MOT or will you need to supplement the window with something else? Maybe one of those fixed screens?
If you have a physical area in your workshop where your clients can watch their MOT…
  • Is it safe?
  • How will they get there and back again at the end of the test?
  • Is there somewhere to sit that’s not the pile of old tyres that keeps getting left there (adding a cushion still won’t work unfortunately!)?


Now you know what’s needed, have a good hard look at your MOT viewing arrangements – are you and your MOT station fully compliant or are you risking Sanctions?  If you need any help, get in touch –