What is the difference between a roadside Police check and an MOT test? A Police Traffic Officer uses the WHOLE Traffic Act, whereby a lot more counts. The MOT test focuses on just one small section - read on ..
By and large, most defects attracting "prohibition" are the same as an MOT fail. A few defects may be acceptable by the MOT tester but not a trained policeman, although this is rare. The motorist is responsible for the road-worthiness of the vehicle being driven, even if it doesn't belong to the driver.
EXAMPLES - a broken coil spring or a substantial fuel leak would be an immediate prohibition at a roadside check, meaning you would have to arrange for the vehicle to be towed to a garage.
At an MOT, the tester will notify you of any defects, flagging up items rendering the vehicle "dangerous to drive" but CANNOT prevent you from driving the vehicle away from the test. The defect is entered on the MOT computer so authorities are aware, but no warning is issued.
There are hundreds of thousands of failure defects considered "dangerous" on our roads, which if discovered by a trained policeman would result in an immediate prohibition.
Source: DVSA September 2014