Well – at least it’s not in Espana! It’s the Spanish version of an MOT and having just gone through the torture I can tell you it bears no resemblance to what we think of as an MOT. Remember how in the UK you take your precious motor down to your trusty mechanic and wave him off as he “sorts it out?” No such thing in Spain. Oh no! Here, you take your car to the test centre yourself. Not only that, but you stay with your car during the whole process. Now my Spanish is ok, I’m not a confident speaker, but I can get the gist. My hearing? That’s just rubbish. I can’t hear at the best of times. My husband calls it selective hearing. Imagine me, sitting in my car, surrounded by grease monkeys shouting instructions from behind some piece of equipment. Not my idea of fun.
First of all I drive in and am told to switch the lights on and off, indicate left and right and brake. This is ok I think. Next I have to pop the hood – thank god for Spanish speaking friends, because I have no idea what he was talking about. A nerve racking couple of minutes whilst we watch him check the oil – silently praying to God to forgive us for not actually checking it ourselves before we went. We presume all is in order as he replaces the dipstick and closes the bonnet.
Next comes some sort of brake test. I drive my car so my front two tyres drop into two sort of drums that act as a rolling road. Then as the chap gesticulates at a digital dial display the wheels start turning and I’m supposed to press the brake pedal. Not only that but keep it between two makers on the digital display. This would have been absolutely fine, if a) I understood what all the gesticulating was about and b) I could hear a bloody word he was saying. Thankfully I have Spanish Speaking Steve of Supersonic hearing with me. Once I get the gist of what I’m supposed to be doing I’m told to slam on the brakes and as I do the car jolts out of the rolling road and shoots backwards. I am a nervous reck. Then I have to repeat the whole process with the rear tyres. I think I’m probably going to fail the ITV on stupidity alone.
Once the drama of the rolling road is out of the way we drive forward over what can only be described as hole in the floor. The chap jumps down underneath and starts bouncing the car around. Meanwhile a great big truck pulls up in the lane next to us. I cannot hear a thing. Supersonic Steve is looking just as confused as I am which doesn’t fill me with confidence. Suddenly the mechanic is back by the side of the car leaning through the window and turning the wheel from side to side. I apparently have to continue this whilst he disappears again. He adds some banging noises to the bouncing of the car, and I am still none the wiser but am following my instructions and am still turning the wheel fr0m side to side. Finally he emerges and tells me to drive on and wait outside.
So we wait. And we wait. And we wait. Supersonic Steve starts making unhelpful comments like “when they start typing loads into the computer it means you’ve failed.” We turn to see our mechanic writing War and Peace. Steve adds “he should be getting us a sticker by now.” (The sticker is proof of ITV and is displayed in your windsheild). We look again and our chap is still at the computer. So we wait.
Obviously not wanting to deal with the silly English girl anymore, Steve is called back into the office. He’s in there for what seems an eternity. He comes out looking glum. We failed. I ask whether it’s because I’m stupid and deaf, but apparently its to do with something called a ball joint and two rear tyres. Damn it.
So we make our way home. Steve makes a sarcastic comment about how my driving speed hasn’t decreased at all, even though I know the car is officially crap. I tell him to eff off.
It’s an MOT Jim, but not as we know it.