Seal of approval – the MOT

With a pretty mint Defender TD5 we didn’t expect any problems at the annual MOT.

In Gibraltar, they are every two years, unless you have a commercial vehicle, and as ours is a van body, sadly it’s an annual MOT for us.

Last year, the inspector just glanced over it and said how impressed he was with the condition.

At the time of this year’s MOT it was around seven years old with less than 20,000 kms on the clock.

‘Fuck it,’ said Partner when he walked in and threw the keys on the table.

Failed on one oil seal on the front axle.

Now, had we been in Spain at the finca with our ramps life might have been easier. But catch 22, without the MOT we shouldn’t be driving in Spain, and we didn’t feel like having the vehicle impounded by the Guardia Civil. Plus we didn’t have four fancy tools that you needed (having looked at the manual). Plus brake pipe clamps. Tool bill mounting up a bit here.

See, this is why Simple Series are Superior.

Anyways, we bite the bullet and ring up the local main stealer. The ones who mis-sold us the vehicle in the first place. But that’s another story.

Luckily, we’ve always got on with the office staff and mechanics. And because we bought the vehicle there, it whizzed up on the system straight away. Now, rumour has it, that they have long waiting lists for repairs and servicing. We could take it in the following day for a looky by the mechanics.

We did. They checked out their stocks and discovered they had the required oil seals in stock – we’d decided to have both done, as a bit like master and slave cylinders, pretty obvious the other one would go soon. Might as well just have one expensive garage bill than two.

In we went the next day. Felt like VIP treatment. I held my breath for the bill. A hundred and thirty quid or so. Not so bad after all. Good job, fast and efficient, one mechanic changed both seals in two hours. Reading around it seems to take DIY people two hours to do one seal. It’s the first job we’ve paid for since we bought her. First time we have used a garage or a main stealer for years, but it was a good result.

Off we went to collect the coveted MOT. Cost of MOT – £40.



MOT in Gib

This is an easy one.

£20 for the test. Valid for two years. Only catch? This is for Gib residents and people with Gib businesses, ie registered in Gibraltar, only.

So no, you can’t bring your GB reg coche for an updated MOT when you have been living in Spain or anywhere else and out of the UK for longer than your MOT lasts. Nor can you buy some cheap Brit vehicle that has been kicking around on the Iberian peninsula for years and suddenly think you will get an MOT in Gib. Let me repeat, this is a non-starter.

So back to the beginning. If you have a Gib registered vehicle that you are legally entitled to drive – this is how to get your MOT roadworthy certificate renewed.

Go to the MOT station in Eastern Beach at the far end of Devil’s Tower Road.

Take your log book, last MOT cert, and ID to be on the safe side.

Pay your money in advance and you will then get an appointment.

Note, you can not do this over the telephone. You have to turn up in person to make an appointment, with the papers.

If you already have a certificate you will probably get a helpful reminder that your MOT is due to run out, we did.

On the due date of the test, you turn up and you are allocated to Lane 1 or Lane 2 depending on your vehicle.

Sadly we failed, but not on anything mechanical.

We had a broken window that had been shattered one Friday night, some time ago, by someone.

After a while we sourced the glass and put it in. All ready to go again in a few weeks, and it went straight through the test. Good to go for another two years.

Total time to replace glass – three and a half hours.

1) take out the complete frame with the existing good piece of glass

2) split frame

3) insert new glass

4) replace grub screws that hold frame together

5) Haynes would say – complete in reverse order – in other words, lift the frame with complete glass and insert into panel. Note two pairs of hands are helpful at this point.

6) Pop rivet the frame into the panel. On the Santana, some of this also needed two pairs of hands because it was very fiddly.

7) Refit rubber seal.

And – off to the MOT station for new certificate.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So how much does it cost you to fill up?

Went shopping today and decided to fill up as the warning light was flashing.

Cost for a tankful? £25. At 54.9p a litre.

That’s at least a couple of trips up and down to the finca and running around locally too.

Big Gib smile. 🙂

(Apologies for the smug post)

And just in case anyone has forgotten – no road tax and MoT every two years.


Anonymous said…
Ooof! £60. At £1.19 a litre.Big UK frown. 😦

25 MARCH 2008 10:40
Marvin said…
Yep, you are in the best place for fuel.I pay £1.19 per litre for diesel, costs a fortune to fill up the Toyota .J x

25 MARCH 2008 21:39

MoTs and Roadworthy

It’s a lot of years since we drove a car that had a “roadworthy” certificate. Back in Aus to be honest.

So we were mildly entertained to discover that our new MoT certificate here in Gibraltar is also a roadworthiness certificate.

We were impressed with the good service at the MoT station, the fast appointment, and the courteous and helpful attitude of the inspectors and office staff on the day.

Now we just have to get our registration document next week.

Bureaucracy and paperwork aren’t always difficult. First the Customs staff, and then the Department of Transport people, have all been patient and taken the time to explain what we needed to do to import our vehicle into Gibraltar.

Thanks everyone.

One of our neighbours was surprised it went through the MoT. She thinks it is an old shed. She basically doesn’t like Land Rovers. She doesn’t understand that it is well-maintained, and looked after. It isn’t new, it isn’t pretty, it isn’t bling. But it works, and when it doesn’t we fix it.
In-between we service it, and check it over anyway.

It could always fail the MoT on something, we aren’t professional mechanics. We checked all the obvious things, but it is up to the MoT inspector on the day to decide.

But, it isn’t us who are spending a fortune on garage bills because we can’t sort out our nice little Euro-box.

Does this look like a Sport Utility Vehicle?

Like really?

This is a Long Wheel Base ie 109″, Five Door Station Wagon, 3500 diesel, Land Rover Santana. It does not, by any stretch of the imagination, go like shit off a stick. But it does pull up hills. Forever. It rarely goes into High/Low – or Largo/Corto – ratio because the traction is usually good enough anyway.

Anyway, happily it passed its first MoT in Gibraltar. We have imported it onto Gib plates so now we are awaiting the registration papers.

On the form, I described it as a Five Door Station Wagon. Yes? Does that seem reasonable?

Apparently it has to be described as an SUV. Does it look like a popular Sport Utility Vehicle? That someone would pile loads of kids into, and drive them to school? Or maybe occasionally go down a bumpy track?

It is a truck. In fact, when it was registered in Spain in 1988, the road tax was minimal because it was classified as a truck. But do I care? No. There is no road tax here in Gibraltar, the MoT is every two years, and the insurance is lower. I can live with my SUV. Not that I will be calling it that in a hurry.