Drivers can pass MOT test with car 'damage' due to DVSA loophole

Drivers can pass MOT tests with damage due to a loophole. Craig, a mechanic at Walsall Wood Tyre and Service claimed road users could still secure a pass certificate with a cracked windscreen due to a simple loophole.

The DVSA’s MOT inspection manual states that windscreen Zone A must not have any cracks larger than 10mm in diameter. There should also be less than 40mm of damage in the remainder of the windscreen’s swept area.

It explains: "You must check the condition of the windscreen and windows on either side of the driver’s seat. To inspect the condition of glass, sit in the driver’s seat, check the view of the road, check the view of mandatory external mirrors.

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"Check for damage in windscreen zone A more than 10mm in diameter, damage in the remainder of the windscreen’s swept area more than 40mm in diameter, damage to windows on either side of the driver’s seat and excessive tinting or discolouration of the windscreen or windows on either side of the driver’s seat.

"Failure for damage is only justified if the damage significantly affects the driver’s view of the road. You do not need to consider the effects on tall or short drivers. Failure for tinting or discolouration is only justified if the driver’s view is significantly affected.

"Zone A is in the swept area of the windscreen, 290mm wide and centred on the steering wheel." Craig said: “OK so a lot of people still have the misconception of the old 10mm and 40mm rule. Which does still apply but there’s an amendment or an addition to this in the manual.

“So we can see we are still talking about Zone A being in the driver's view and Zone B being anywhere in the swept area and we still have the old rule of 10mm of damage in Zone A and 40mm of damage in Zone B would constitute to the point where it starts to be considered a failure.

“However, we have this wording here, ‘failure for damage is only justified if the damage significantly affects the driver’s view of the road’. And it goes on to say that you don't need to make an assessment about how tall or short the driver would be. So yes you can have damage more than 10mm. As long as it's not seriously affecting the driver's view of the road.

“I.E. it's right up here on the windscreen and it's just blocking your view of the sky or it's right down here and it's only blocking your view of your bonnet. You're not going to fail it for that. The same applies obviously for Zone B as well. Damage greater than 40mm in Zone B could be considered a fail but only if it’s seriously affecting the driver's view of the road.

“So by technical rights, you can have a crack that goes from one end of your windscreen right across the other end of the windscreen. As long as it's not actually affecting the view of the road it will only be a pass and advise.”