MOT Failed At one Centre for Excessive tint, then same day for retest at another Centre Pass is granted


New Member
Hi All,

Looking some advice, I had an MOT there on the 9th of this month in my local town
MOT was failed for this specific reason - Ma - Side window: light transmission excessively reduced; Nearside front; offside front - 25%

I was offered the oppurtunity to take the tints off at the intial test but refused, hence notice of refusal was given.
Test was at 8.45am that morning

So as i knew the car had passed on its 1st MOT in 2018 (As confirmed with dealership that these tints were present when they got the car)

So i decided to then book a Re-Test at another Centre 25 miles from me for 1.40pm, and the Retest was only Tints, They Passed the Car

I made no changes what so ever, bar give the glass a clean (again).

So being angered i wrote a complaint to see what the fudge was going on

The reply is received today was the following -

Your email, dated the 09/01/2020, regarding you vehicle test conducted in Omagh centre refers. Your email has been passed to me for investigation and response. In line with our complaints procedure this is being treated as a Stage 1 response.

The amount of tint on the windscreen and windows to the offside and nearside of the driver are a testable item, and form part of the annual inspection. Windscreens and other windows wholly or partially on either side of the driver’s seat, fitted to motor vehicles first used on or after 1st April 1995 require light transmission of 75% for a windscreen, and 70% for all other windows. Manufacturer’s tints to the windscreen and windows to either of the driver’s seat are not tinted by applying a film, the tint is manufactured into the glass.
Our experience shows that a factory tint will measure 71/72% light transmission. If a tint film is fitted over a factory tint our experience is the light transmission drops to 20-30%. All vehicle examiners are fully qualified mechanics prior to taking up post as vehicle examiners and undergo accredited intensive training immediately on recruitment to ensure they are competent in conducting all aspects of a vehicle test including assessment and measurement of light transmission. The examiner who tested your vehicle has stated that it was obvious the windows were excessively tinted, and gave you the opportunity to remove the film.
When you refused he obtained the light meter from the Centre Manager, and recorded a reading of 25%, which is a reason for refusal of a test certificate. I have spoken to the member of staff concerned and they wish to apologise if they offended you in any way. This was not their intention.

On speaking with the examiner in Cookstown centre he states the vehicle was presented without additional tints and when measured with the light meter, measured 68%. A tolerance of 5% is allowed during testing so a pass certificate was issued. The examiner in Cookstown also said the presenter claimed to have had the windows “buffed” so they would pass the inspection.

On the initial test the examiner exercised common sense and customer care by giving the opportunity to remove the tints so he could issue a pass certificate. When you refused this offer his only option was to refuse a certificate. Both tests were carried out as per procedures. On both tests the evidence shows the correct outcome was reached

The last part makes no sense, the guy doing the first test only got the light meter after i disagreed with him, then they are trying to make out from after 9am that morning until 1.40pm i managed to get 'Other' Tints applied to pass the MOT at the Centre.

Its interesting that they state that windows are only letting 68% of light through, so 2% off but there is a 5% Tolerance which makes the car, However where did they pull the -25% out of at the initial test...

Also the manager who i had words with was a total prat was looking me to bring the car down on Monday to look at it again which i think is totally out of order

Reason i didn't was simply because, if they read it again, they could turn round and say the same thing and cause another handling

So wondering if anyone has any advice on the above, thought it would also helpful to share incase anyone else is in scenario

Cheers in Advance



RMS Regular
a car
Love the pics showing a true representation of the front tints from a side angle. Take it back to Cookstown next year just!


RMS Regular
Portstewart/North Sea
Sierra Cosworth
I’m not sure if many of us would have went those lengths to differentiate the reasons behind the fail/pass.

I’m glad it was investigated & you received a fair explanation on how or why this could have happened.
I’m not sure what further advice you expect but I can’t help but feel you’ve dug deep enough.


RMS Regular
The simple explication is they used different machines which may have been at the opposite ends of the calibration tolerances hence the different results though going by the photos you supplied you should also have failed for the plates (assuming they were on the car). You also stated you cleaned the windows (again) which may have had a impact too. Add this to the fact they they probably didn't test the exact same spot on the window and you have your 7% difference. Technically your windows are illegal and too dark, 68% is below the legal minimum its only their rather generous 5% allowance that mean it passed the MoT. Just because it passed the MoT does not mean its legal and if involved in something the police or your insurance company may well have a different view.

For now it's a pass accept it, move on and worry next year.
Last edited:


RMS Regular
Any tint at all on the front puts them over the limit due to the way the manufacturer makes them. 3 points and £60 fine if you're stopped, sounds like you need it tbh!


RMS Regular
Really well
Bm has the factory tint on the front at 25/26 % which is top end of the legal pass, front windscreen is 30% again both legal but any tint, traffic branch will do you for. As said 3 point and a fine and if below 25% they can impound the car.


RMS Regular
Skoda Octavia
Why did you leave the centre if you were so sure the car should have passed? Why did you take it to another centre? 3 hours is plenty of time to swap windows from another car. Once the car leaves the test centre you have pretty much screwed yourself for the "I didn't do nuffin" argument.

All light metes are calibrated once a year and tested every time before use. Construction and build regs state glass must be 70% transparent, PSNI also test to the same standard, DVA look for 65% transparency. In my 10 years of vehicle testing I NEVER had a vehicle that was borderline 65%, standard factory glass is 70% any tint at all is enough to put it under the 65% threshold.

For me I call BS on your story - Sorry!


New Member
Guess we can't trust any Test Centre to make the right decision

I'll remove the tints to save myself the hassle, even though they came on the car when i bought it from the dealership

Lessons in Life eh