A Bulgarian MOT

It was long overdue, in fact four months overdue and about time it was done. We had got away with it since we have been back in Bulgaria but getting away with it in this part of the world is normal. I’m talking about the Bulgarian equivalent of the MOT test and certificate.

It wasn’t that long ago that my C90 Honda moped I used in England went through the test, it failed because on of the tyres was fitted the wrong way round. I had to spend £40 on getting the bugger swapped around and then retested, what a con! No leeway, advice or help but purely a device for making more money out of people.

Back in Bulgaria such instances are unheard of. Yes, they have a resolution for documentation to the extreme but that’s where it ends. This will always be the case here not just from ex-communism infrastructure but from a new Europe who make it their business to complicate processes to ridiculous ends and mandatory paperwork and accountability for all implicated. Nothing is easy in this trend of red tape bureaucracy that causes many frustrations and systems grinding to a halt. In fact it is my opinion that much of this complication in paperwork is put there to put a general public off from entering into said transactions or services. I digress!

The problem with my Lada car is that all the lights don’t work from rats making it their home and gnawing all the electric wires and circuits the smithereens. Who in their right mind would even consider putting a vehicle through and MOT in view fo this? Well Galia’s view of this was to just not mention the fact. She was sure that all was going to be okay as it was last year when the tyres were bald.

We were off and arrived at the garage at lunchtime, inevitably the garage was shut, we were told to come back in a hour. A Bulgarian hour as said many time before isn’t an hour and we turned up two days later as advised!

We had all the documentation expect the full registration document, which was in Skalitsa. Even though we had all evidence there to prove the car was registered and in my business name, road tax and insurance all there. He remained adamant he couldn’t issue the MOT certificate without this document.

Luckily we were on our way to Skalitsa so we made out way there and returned in the pouring rain. The car was left outside as we entered the sheltered garage out of the downpour. The MOT guy (Ivan) asked me to put my car on the service pit in the garage as I drove the car over the metal lined serviced pit a sense of forbidding came over me. Was he to conduct a full test on the car? Had Bulgarian MOT procedures now come into line with other EU directives? Was Galia’s assumption that it would be okay become obliterated?

Once the car was parked and dripping into the pit Ivan began completing the tick list of items to be tested but without looking at the car. Within 5 minutes the 30 leva had been paid (it was 15 leva last year!) and the certificate had been sign sealed and delivered!

The next step was to stick the window certificate on the inside of my front window-screen only then did I realise why he wanted my car on the ramp in the garage…… He didn’t want to get wet when putting the sticker in my car!!

Why on earth did I doubt that anything would be any different this year in Bulgaria apart from cost? Last year Ivan didn’t even look at the car before signing the pass certificate, this year was exactly the same. So even without any lights working it passed but I do know that this may well be because it was a Lada and we spoke Bulgarian.

Only a yesterday I unavoidably had to speak to another Brit who had been living here for five years and complained that his car had to go through a meticulous test to get through his MOT and no end of trouble getting it through. There may be two points to why, his car wasn’t a lada and he didn’t speak a word of Bulgarian!