Handy Guide for Wannabe MOT Stations

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Much confusion surrounds both the types of test bay which you can install and also with respect to the installation of an MOT bay within a garage environment. This handy synopsis explains the detail you need to know…

Basic Classifications of Test Classes

The first thing to understand is what are the classes of vehicle that you wish to test…

  • Class I/II – Motorcycle [Including Sidecars] – Always a test using an assistant
  • Class III – 3 Wheel Vehicles – Always a test with an assistant
  • Class IV – Cars, Motor-homes, Small Vans
  • Class VL – >16 Seats with Seatbelts
  • Class VII – Light Goods Vehicles

Types of MOT Bay Available

There are a number of test bay types which you can purchase dependant on budget, available manpower on-site. GETECH offer flexibility with our test lanes since our modular construction allows us to offer an almost infinite number of configurations to suit YOUR requirements.

  • Motorcycle MOT Bay – A package purely for testing Class 1 and 2
  • Standard MOT Bay – [Classes 4, or 7 (incl 5L)] – Test is conducted with an assistant – No easy upgrade to One Person Testing or Automated Testing.
  • Upgradeable MOT Bay – [Classes 4, or 7] – Test is conducted with an assistant but equipment can be upgraded for One Person or Automated Testing.
  • One Person MOT Bay [OPTL] – [Classes 4, or 7] – Test is conducted with a single man
  • Automated MOT Bay [ATL] – [Classes 4, or 7 (incl 5L)] – Test is conducted with a single man. Brake Tester has automated program, integrated weighing and automatic PASS/FAIL decision making capability
  • Combined MOT Bay – [Classes 1,2, 4, or 7 (incl 5L)] – An ATL Bay with a brake tester which is upgraded to accept motorcycles.

MOT Bay Layouts

Equipment can be installed anywhere in the premises provided that each test area meets its own individual requirements and the locations still allow the overall test requirements to be met. To that end there is no “right or wrong” way to install the equipment in any premises although practicality dictates that a majority of MOT bays are installed using similar layout configurations.

  • Motorcycle Bays

We tend to install motorcycle bays symmetrically about the centreline of the prescribed width of the bay; although a side by side arrangement in theory means that 2 tests can be conducted simultaneously (or at least that in a single test situation, the covers of the roller brake tester can definitely remain off during the headlight test.

In practical terms arranging your bay in this side by side arrangement brings little or no benefit unless the premises is sufficiently large to accept a completely separate zone for the “underside inspection” portion of the test. In reality therefore a symmetrical arrangement works best for a majority of sites.

You can view our Motorcycle MOT Bay Package by Clicking HERE
  • Class 4, 5 & 7 Bays

These tend to be site specific, but the best starting point is to look at the available headroom and the entrances to the premises. This generally makes 50% of the decisions for you. Headrooms at the 4m mark are suitable for Class 4 testing and 5m mark for Class 7 testing when using a lift and these sizes allow you to understand a) which class testing is actually possible and also b) if a surface mounted, rather than recessed mounted, installation is possible.

A common trap is to think that just because a ramp is installed where you think the mot bay goes, and that you can work under the car comfortably then you are meeting the MOT requirements – Nothing could be farther from the truth…

Another key issue is the sizing of the door to the premises. For class 4 testing it is straightforward: 2.4 metres square is sufficient but for Class 7 testing two dimensions exist dependent on if the MOT bay will run through the door or otherwise.

Essentially always look for 3.5 metres where possible as this maintains the best chance to have a number of different arrangements which will be dimensionally acceptable to the vehicle inspectorate – although you may eliminate some options for practical reasons subsequently.

The above refers to a lift based installation but of course – a pit installation may also be used to achieve approval.

In instances where class 7 testing is to be achieved, the overriding favourite arrangement is to opt for an inline but compact arrangement to minimise the floorspace intrusion although technically you could install side by side or in-line but “stretched out” to allow multiple simultaneous tests on the single bay (subject to available testers).

You can view our all our MOT Bay Packages by Clicking HERE

You may wish to draw on our expertise and request a site visit to look at the feasibility of your MOT bay project. Call 0844 800 9785 to speak to one of our project advisors on the telephone and to arrange your consultation now.


For more information on GETECH call during office hours, visit http://getech.org.uk or mail info@getech.org.uk.

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