The drive to Riteve (MOT) in Costa Rica, Nicoya

The MOT badge for two cars of mine already had expired one month ago, but I haven’t had the time to let them get checked by Riteve, the appropriate authority for the MOT. Finally, I got the dates for the investigation (Revision Tecnica) in Nicoya and asked a friend if he could drive the second car.
For the trip to Nicoya two problems appeared. The first one was that we had to cross a river and we didn’t know before whether it would be possible to cross the river or not. We left early and finally crossed the river without problems.
The second problem was that the MOT for both cars was exhausted one month ago and so it would have been bad if we would have had a  police control.
We had our dates at 8 o’ clock in the morning and we assumed that the activities of the police (Trafico) at this time were limited.
Arriving at MOT everything went relatively fast. After registering we were standing as the third and fourth car in line.
In principle there are two ways to deal with this procedure. One is that you go to a mechanic and ask him to inspect the car and correct deficiencies. This is usually the most costly way.
I decided to simply drive in front, let the identified deficiencies repaired later and get my MOT badge for the next year at the second investigation.
I drove up with the first car, a Toyota Land Cruiser, built in 1977.
At the first test the MOT employee could not hide his admiration for the vehicle. I got out and talked with him. He said: “That’s a real car,” and controlled light, wipers, belts, chassis, exhaust emissions and engine number.
Everything seemed ok.
The second employee tested the brakes and the substructure of the vehicle.
It was clear that the brakes weren’t in good shape. Because of the continuous passage through the river and the bad construction of the brakes I was sure there would be problems.
The MOT-workers told me that I needed to repair the brakes and he would stop the investigation of the lower part of the car. For me it had the advantage that I wouldn’t have to pay any fees for the second screening.
The second car, an Isuzu Trooper, built in 1999 got completely investigated. This car as well didn’t got a MOT badge because there were serious deficiencies, the hand brake didn’t work good enough and the hydraulic oil dropped out of the tank.
All in all it was a good day because we had crossed the river without problems, had no police control and third there were only defects which are easily repairable.
The investigation took about half an hour.

The MOT has been introduced in Costa Rica 1998. Once a year you need examination for the vehicles by the MOT .
In the comprehensive study light, brakes and exhaust emissions get controlled. However, many other shortcomings mean that you don’t get your MOT badge.
Some years ago there was great excitement in Costa Rica in relation to the MOT examination.
The costs and fees for the vehicle owners got always higher and the studies with German equipment more accurately.
One weekend many truck and car owners secretly decided to block the main roads in Costa Rica. From one day to the other nothing worked anymore.
The president, Abel Pacheco showed up on television and announced that he would not negotiate with terrorists. As
then, after three days, the milk in the truck of “Dos Pinos” got sour, the president finally asked for negotiations. They agreed to a reduction of the fees and also to a MOT control, which focused mainly on the brakes, lights and exhaust emission.
Since than it works like this, but sometimes you get the impression that the investigation get expanded gradually.
The investigation of the vehicles is a perfectly matter, and certainly people have learned that it’s not possible to introduce a costly and detailed inspection overnight.
You can be happy if the vehicles get investigated and the deficiencies get corrected. However, we do not know exactly how many people don’t drive their vehicles to the examination and do in the event of an police control something good for the police officer.

More information about the area of Sámara, Costa Rica, Guanacaste.

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