There’s a lot of red tape when it comes to MOT testing.
From the layout of your site to the equipment you use, you need to be sure you’ve got all the right parts in place before you commit to investing your cash.
So to help you get started – and so you know what’s ahead – we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to setting up shop as a Class 7 MOT test centre.
Here’s everything you need to know:
1. Assessing your premises
The first step before any application is to make sure your site is suitable for Class 7 MOTs.
The DVSA has strict requirements and detailed specifications laid out for MOT Bays, with the exact dimensions and measurements you need. That usually involves looking at things like:
- Your site’s overall layout and dimensions
- The layout and dimensions of your intended testing bay – including the entrances and exits, the width, and the available headroom
- And the dimensions and measurements of your underside inspection facilities – including vehicle lifts and vehicle inspection pits.
You can find the complete specifications for Class 7 MOT Bays in the government’s MOT Testing Guide, with every required measurement and threshold.
This is a crucial first step with a lot of technical specifications – and we’d always recommend getting an expert opinion before you move further with your application.
Our own teams here at Totalkare can help you with a detailed survey of your site, taking measurements and layout information and comparing it against the latest legislation – to help you make sure your site is suitable before you commit to the next steps in the process.
2. Choosing the right equipment FOR MOT TESTING
Once you’ve ticked all the boxes on your premises and layout, you’ll be ready to start planning out how you’re going to fill that space.
And that’s an area that we know inside and out:
As one of the leading suppliers of commercial vehicle workshop equipment, we’ve been kitting out workshops with a suite of MOT equipment for years – and we can work with you to find the exact setup that’s right for what you need.
In general, that usually means looking at any of the equipment from our DVSA-approved Class 7 MOT Bay Package, which includes our:
- Light Commercial Four-Post Lift
- Class 7 In-ground Brake Tester
- Class 7 Vehicle Inspection Pit
- Petrol & Diesel Emissions Analyser
- And our 2500 Headlamp Tester, Play Detectors, and Jacking Beam.
We’ve written previously about the essential equipment you need for Class 7 MOTs. But that guide is by no means exhaustive. So if you’re ready to kit out your site but you’re not sure what you need, just get in touch with one of our experts – we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.
3. Proving your plans
Before you dive into any new equipment or changes to your site, you can get what’s called an ‘Approval in Principle’ from the DVSA.
This is an early-stage confirmation from the government that the premises and plans you have in place are likely to be suitable for an official approval later on.
It might seem like an unnecessary extra level of paperwork. But in reality, it’s a smart move for your business. It’s a way to be sure that you’re on the right track and heading for approval – before you drop a huge amount of cash into changing your premises.
But in order to get an Approval in Principle, you’ll need to show the DVSA your exact plans with detailed drawings of your intended site – and that’s another area where we can help.
Our teams at Totalkare can help you to prepare and create the CAD (Computer-aided Design) drawings you need to show the DVSA you’re ready, working directly with you and your architects and builders to create a detailed and accurate plan for your new MOT Bay.
4. Applying to the DVSA
With the plans for your site and equipment in place, you’ll be ready to start your application to the DVSA.
Just like with any other type of MOT, you’ll be applying for the status of Authorised Examiner (AE).
The AE is the person or legal entity that’s responsible for everything related to MOT testing – the tests themselves, the facilities and equipment, the surrounding documents, and the training of your staff.
Luckily, it’s all contained in one single application form – regardless of whether it’s your first MOT test centre, or you’re simply adding a new test station to your site.
So whether you have an AE status or not, you’ll need to fill out a VT01 form and send it to the DVSA along with the right supporting documents – which could include:
- A copy of your business partnership agreement
- A letter that authorises you to act on behalf of the partnership or limited company
- A certificate showing that the right staff members have completed an MOT manager training course
- A solicitor’s letter showing your ownership or similar rental rights to your premises
- A solicitor’s letter showing your operating rights and planning permission for an MOT test centre
- The site plans for your intended MOT test centre
- And a fully dimensioned drawing of your test bay layout.
5. Setting up your new test centre
Once you’ve got the go-ahead from the DVSA, you’ll be ready to fully commit to your new Class 7 MOT Bay.
And with Totalkare by your side, you can make the whole process smooth and painless:
All of our installations are carried out by our own in-house engineers – from setting up and calibrating your new equipment, to training your staff and providing the aftercare you need to keep your standards high and your business compliant.
Ready to get started with Class 7 MOTs?
Getting set up as a new MOT test centre can be daunting. But with the right help by your side, you can get up and running in the shortest possible time.
So if you’re looking to launch a new test station for your business, check out our comprehensive Class 7 MOT Bay package for all the equipment you need – or talk to one of our experts to find out exactly how we can guide you through the process.