During the last few days everyone and their brother reminded me that today is the last day before police will start issuing fines for unpaid road tax. My budget for the next few months is tough enough without those fines, so I decided to take proactive measures. Few people warned me that I will need one additional paper – the MOT. MOT is a technical examination of the vehicle, which was introduced to make sure that all cars on the road have operational breaks, don’t emit too much of CO gas and stuff like that.
MOT examination can be taken in alsmot any garage, so I called up my mechanic and asked if I need to make an appointment. He said that the test takes about 20 minutes and that I can come any time I want without prior appointment. All I need to do is pay 25 CYP in any branch of COOP bank and bring him the receipt together with the insurance contract and vehicle log book. I did so and brought my car.
MOT examination is very well automated. Mr. Perry started up the sequence on the computer and followed the insturctions on the screen. All he had to do was to move the car a bit in and out of braces and rollers when the computer asked him to and place and remove all sorts of measurement devices on the engine and in the exhaust pipe. The test indeed took about 20 minutes.
When we reviewed the MOT report, my mechanic complimented me (why? :) ) on the engine of my car. He said that more than half of GDI engines that he and his collegues saw in Cyprus have all sorts of problems. They suspect that the problems are caused by software in the computer chip embeded, but noone except for the factory has any tools to tweak it. Anyway, he said that he has seen only about 8 or 10 cars which have good GDI engines and that mine was the best he has seen in the last 4 years. That, obviously, made me very glad.
With MOT report in my hands I went to the traffic department office. Somehow I wasn’t the only one who knew that today is the last day before the fines start. There were a lot of people. And I came late (about 10:00am). Traffic department is one of the worse organized ones in the Cyprus government. Most of forms are in Greek only. There is virtually no information posted anywhere. Queues to the clerks are totally uncontrolled and disorganized. You get the picture…
I spend slightly more than 2 hours in the queue before I got to the clerk. There were many British people in the crowd, who are a real fun to be around in the traffic department. They are fun, because:
- They are not used to queues and disrespect from the government offices
- They have a great sense of humor
These people were making all sorts of funny comments like “This must be the high priority queue”, “Is it a self-service department? I afraid I don’t handle computers so well…”, and (after staying on the same place for half an hour) “Did we move? I might have missed it. Can we do it again?”. My favourite was by a young guy who was talking to a woman for about an hour and than said: “I feel I know you so well! Would you merry me? We can ask for the certificate here. It is a government office, isn’t it?”.
So, after spending about two hours in the queue, I’ve paid 129 CYP for 1838 CCs of my Mitsubishi Galant engine. I am not afraid of the police patrols anymore. They can stop me all they want. Oh, wait, I have to change a couple of tires before that. Oops…