Home » ‘Owner Looks Like Shrek’: These Poor Souls Got Roasted In Front Of The World On Their Annual MOT Vehicle Inspection Paperwork

‘Owner Looks Like Shrek’: These Poor Souls Got Roasted In Front Of The World On Their Annual MOT Vehicle Inspection Paperwork

Mot Advisory Topshot

In the United Kingdom, most cars must undergo MOT (Ministry of Transport) testing, an annual road fitness inspection that’s supposed to keep real junkers off of the streets. These reports are published on a government website for everyone to look up, and can keep British car buyers from purchasing seriously shoddy vehicles. However, the public database only works well if MOT testers behave. Imagine having a pithy comment on your vehicle’s publicly-viewable inspection record, and that comment be viewable forever. Perhaps unsurprisingly, MOT testers can be fined quite severely for comments like these, but that hasn’t stopped incidents from happening. So, let’s take a look at some strange MOT comments that are very real indeed. Some of these advisories have since been scrubbed from the database, but I can assure you that they’re genuine.

Land Rover Discovery – H650 FHA

MOT advisories Land Rover Discovery

One MOT tester must’ve been having a particularly bad day, commenting “owner is idiot” and “car is horrible colour” on this Discovery’s test report. Remarkably though, this Discovery passed this MOT, going against Land Rover stereotypes despite having 192,089 miles on the clock at the time of testing. I doubt the owner’s much of an idiot if they could keep a Discovery going for that long. Imagine the amount of maintenance required.

Volkswagen Polo – YE51 LYJ

MOT advisories Polo

One MOT tester for this Polo claims that its “Owner is a clown.” While likely a disparaging comment towards the owner, wouldn’t it be funny if the comment were literal? Imagine an actual professional clown taking a Polo in for an MOT in full regalia.

While the Polo is almost small enough to be a clown car in North America, it’s a fairly average supermini so there’s nothing especially funny about it in the U.K. Unless it’s adorned with dots, at which point most cars become funny. A red Volkswagen New Beetle with black dots becomes a ladybird, a white Ford Crown Victoria with black dots becomes a cow, that sort of thing.

Ford Transit Connect

MOT advisories ford transit connect

It’s entirely possible for everyday people to look like famous people, although most hope that celebrity comparisons run something along the lines of Ryan Reynolds or Scarlett Johansson. However, the MOT tester for this Transit Connect was a little less than charitable, writing an advisory that says:


Obviously, the owner of this Transit Connect wasn’t actually Shrek, partly because the MOT test doesn’t report that the van smelled of onions and partly because Shrek is fictional. Also, are we talking about Shrek in human form or Shrek in ogre form? Shrek in human form just looked like a pretty normal guy.

Hyundai Accent – SN04 KYW

Img 0361

This one’s on the meaner end of the spectrum, a comment claiming that this Accent’s “owner is a tit.” Look, if life dealt you a bad enough hand to be driving a 2004 Accent in 2016, a comment like this is just adding insult to injury. On the plus side, the Accent passed this MOT test with only three legitimate advisories, so at least it was a functional steed at the time.

Volkswagen Polo – NM06 VLV

Img 0362

Another celebrity look-alike comment, although this one comes with a dose of cultural whiplash. One MOT tester reported that at the time of testing, the “OWNER RESEMBLES SUSAN BOYLE.”

In case you weren’t particularly plugged-in in 2009, Susan Boyle rose to fame singing I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables on Britain’s Got Talent. Footage of her performance spread like wildfire and she’s since released eight albums, with her debut album charting at number one on Billboard. I’m sure a lot of people resemble Susan Boyle, which is more than you can say about Shrek. Anyway, knowing that Susan Boyle’s rise to fame was 14 years ago is a bit disconcerting. Where did the time go?

Of course, there are meaner MOT advisories out there, but these are a few that were fit to print. Hopefully more MOT inspectors will think twice before unloading on their customers through published reports.

(Photo credits: gov.co.uk)

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35 Responses

  1. I can’t help but chuckle to myself at the mental image of an MOT tech jotting down real advisory items, then deciding to add an absolute nugget of gold like “Owner resembles Susan Boyle”.

    I suppose I’m safe here in Florida, the lack of vehicle inspections means I’ve seen some real questionable shit on the road, but no one can tell me I look like Chris Farley or the Pillsbury Doughboy

  2. Almost like a reverse yelp, let the mechanic review the customer, driver has poor hygiene and should consume less fast food! They also have bad taste in music!

  3. I know someone who was a family doctor (now retired). His brother came in for a physical and he decided to troll him by putting a bunch of silly comments on the report. I don’t recall the details, but it was things like “not as tall as he says he is” and “blood is an unusual green colour”. It turns out, that stuff is not so easy to strip out of electronic records.

    In return, his brother wrote a online review (Yelp?) of the clinic. Mostly complaining about the poor food, service, coat check, decor, staff uniforms, tone deaf band, and general sickly appearance of the other patrons.

    These guys have always been fun at parties.

  4. I’m pretty sure all of these are mechanics trolling their mates or colleagues… The customer gets the report, so it seems unlikely they’d be happy if they didn’t know the mechanic!

    1. This isn’t the final printed inspection sheet. Here in Portugal they do have a field for observations that doesn’t get printed out, but it’s how they now what stuff was close to not passing the year before/was turned a blind eye on (every inspection centre has access to those observations). One of my cars has multiple observations: small oil leak, RHD headlight pattern, needs momentary carb tuning not to fail emissions inspection, passenger seat is in bad shape, etc.; not sure if that have any observations on me.

      1. Every MOT print-out I’ve had has exactly the same details as the online report (and the same fonts, logos etc.), so I’m pretty sure the customer copy would have included these too.
        Comments above point out that these might be jokes played between friends, and if you own a Land Rover with 190k miles on the clock, you probably are on first name terms with your mechanic.

        1. Yeah, and upon closer inspection it does seem to have links that would make more sense for the owner than the inspectors. Seems like some light hearted fun between friends.

          Our observations field here in Portugal is an important part of the inspector’s work. For instance, a few years ago they turned a blind eye on the fact that I removed the cracked fog lights that had caused an annotation the year before on my 98 VW Polo (I was having a hard time finding the correct ones), and the next year they immediately told me that it was good that I finally installed the fog lights because this time it wasn’t going to fly. The lack of fog lights the year before wasn’t in my inspection sheet but they noted it in they observations.

  5. mr inspector,
    please stay in your lane.
    owner appearance or behavior is not a vehicle safety concern.
    does this really need to be said?
    sadly, yes.

    1. Yeah, as much as people are joking in the comments, this sort of behavior can result in an investigation by the DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency).

      Losing an MOT testing license is generally very bad for a garage’s profitability…

      1. Have these reports always been easily available online?

        Some guy may have made the comments in 2015 not thinking that anyone would be flipping through them for content one day.

    2. “please stay in your lane.”

      No, you can’t always get what you want
      You can’t always get what you want
      You can’t always get what you want
      But if you try sometime you’ll find
      You get what you need

  6. I can’t help but think that the shop thought that Land Rover owner was an idiot for bringing in a Rover with 192,089 miles on the clock because quite likely only an idiot or a Land Rover enthusiast would have spent enough money to keep said Rover inspectable. (Ask me how I know…) Assuming the owner answered “No” when asked if they were a Land Rover enthusiast, then there can be only one sorry conclusion…

    1. It sounds like the thing had tinted headlights and I can only imagine what color the body had been plasti-dipped.

      Early X5s seem subject to some questionable appearance modifications. I think this Disco may have been following the same template.

  7. Am I the only one who wants to see the MOT report for Adrian’s Mondial? I mean, a highly opinionated Goth in a 30+ y.o. Ferrari that is frequently disrespected? There must be comments.

    1. Frankly it’s still the prancing horse. The Mondial looks fine from most angles with the possible exception being a straight on profile (IMHO). If Adrian (Ferrari) and I (NC2 MX-5) pulled up to a gas pump, I can make a pretty good guess which one is going to draw more attention and it’s not the Mazda.

  8. I have a fun story about the MoT database.
    My brother’s father-in-law was a mechanic, and was qualified to carry out MoT tests. Being a grumpy sod, he’d often get out of having to talk to the rest of the family at Christmas by taking the family cars to his workshop, and doing their annual MoT.
    Now, if you want to keep your qualification for doing MoT’s, you have to go on regular courses. A few years back he was on a course talking about the (then) new online MoT database, and the person giving the course mentioned all the data that gave them access to. He also relayed an anecdote about “some sad bastard” who had done tests on Christmas day. The father-in-law didn’t bother admitting that he was the only person in the UK doing tests on that day.

    (He lives in the Cotswolds, which contains more than it’s fair share of rich people, so there was also a lot of restoration garages who would work on very expensive and rare cars. As he was the only garage around that did MoT’s, he’d often end up testing some very interesting cars, including Nick Mason’s Ferrari F40. He claims that it’s part of the regulations that testing an F40 includes a quick hoon on the local roads, you know, just to be on the safe side…)

    1. The Polo wasn’t the only car to come from the factory available as the Harlekin; the Golf was also available as the Harlequin. And some of us take umbrage at such indubitably cool cars described as “clown cars.”

    2. I have the sad version of that. A 1998 VW Polo in what’s probably the saddest shade of grey in the VW paint catalogue at the time. I love the Harlequins. The Polo more than the Golf (the Golf III is itself the saddest Golf of all), but I just love it that a car company like VW had the sense of humor to sell them.

  9. Speaking of journalism and grammar rules, please explain the dang acronym! Not even the linked article ostensibly explaining it explains it!

    Capital Letter Thing (“CLT”), right?

    1. The acronym comes from the Ministry of Transport, though the agency is now the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. I guess people were used to MoT tests, so no one wanted to change to DVSA tests?

      1. It’s not been the Ministry of Transport since 1970, so I guess it’s just the traditional name by now. Even if they changed it tomorrow, I think it would take decades before anyone started using the new name.

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