I received a personal letter a couple of weeks ago from the vehicle service centre I use whenever I have work done on my van or to have the van checked over in its annual MOT test. The letter was headed ‘Dear Ms ****….It’s that time of year again’ referring to the MOT test. The current test certificate expires at the end of February theoretically speaking though a test may be carried out two weeks prior. That happened last year and for a couple of years prior to that too. Of course the test can be forward dated to the actual and original date of the first test that was carried out when the van reached its third year. I don’t remember asking the service mechanic to forward date any test and so at each successive yearly test the date creeps backward. At any rate the certificate of compliance has to be obtained before the van can be taxed so it has to be in place before that can happen. There also has to be a certificate of insurance before the tax can be paid too. The appointment to have the van checked over was on Tuesday 23 January, a couple of days ago though the existing MOT certificate doesn’t expire until a few weeks hence. I say certificate but in fact one isn’t issued unless asked for as the certificate these days is kept electronically in a data base. The police and other authorities have access to the data whenever it is required. It’s all about producing less files on paper but it also enables rapid examination by the police for example if they wish to confirm whether a vehicle is properly taxed, tested and insured for they are all on a data base somewhere. I cannot say at this time of writing (16th) whether my van passed its test but I am hoping it did. I haven’t really used the van much over the last twelve months, probably less than three hundred miles, so there should be little difference from last year’s status. It turned out to be around six hundred miles but still a low distance. I have been cutting back on my expenditure in regard to my van’s recovery and roadside assistance membership with The AA and have switched to another group. I am now covered by Green Flag. That switch has saved me over £110 per annum. Previously my AA membership cost around £120 which included recovery and many other benefits should I have wanted them, though many of those I wouldn’t have used anyway. This year they wanted over £160 so I switched. I don’t go on long distance trips but with Green Flag I still get the same cover for only £56. I cannot change my insurance premium though as I am not carrying electrical goods now I might get some small discount. The tax will be a little higher though as promised by our wonderful Government! One good thing is I hardly ever visit the service station for fuel! That has been quite a considerable saving for me over the last year. Yes, I could claim tax-relief on purchasing fuel but now I don’t even pay for the fuel, well only on the few gallons I now use each year. It’s that time of year again.
(Having taken my van to have it tested on 23rd I am pleased to report that it passed!)