After Tuesday's 100km burn up & down the autobahn, I had left the Polo at the garage on Tuesday night so that they could do whatever was necessary to try and get the old girl through her "TÜV" or MoT test (every 2 years after the first 3 years).
TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein, English: Technical Inspection Association) is the generic name for the check but there are at least 3 bodies I know of. TÜV is probably well known in the UK as it does a lot of the CE/EU testing and has offices around the world. Many have probably seen the logo of "Dekra" on F1 or motor racing caps & suits. The one my garage uses is "GTÜ".
The Germans followed the English in 1866 in having such an organisation after a boiler in a brewery blew up in Mannheim the year before. It was the first such organisation on the European Mainland.
Was thrilled when I got the call after lunch that she had got through and I have another two years to use her but I do so wish I could find something more suitable. I really can't complain about anything - sunroof, electric front windows, superb radio/cassette player but it really is a pain getting in and out.
If you want to check out a German car, the disk at the bottom tells you in letters which county/city it is registered (normally the county of residence of a private person but if a company car, the companies registered address county), the coat of arms is of the State (16 in Germany).
The top disk tells you how long the TÜV is valid - the outer ring number showing at 12 o'clock is the expiry month, the year is in the centre. The colours change every year so a police vehicle can spot an out of date TÜV at a distance or at least know it is due/could have expired in the current year.
Until about 5 years ago, the front number plate had the year/month roundel also on the front plate as this was for the then separate exhaust emissions test. They are now both mandatory at the same time, so the front one only has the county/state roundel
Until about 2000, several letters were banned from use as radar cameras couldn't tell the difference say between "G" & "6". Since then there are new official typefaces that have to be used. Very clear to see on my number the difference between egg shaped letter "O" and number "0" which has a slit in it to distinguish better from the letter Q.
So anyone out on the autobahns between now and April 2023, keep a look-out in your rear mirror for an evil looking black Polo hanging on your rear boot.