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Industry welcomes decision to retain first MOT test at three years

The Government says it is ‘committed to MOT modernisation as consultation concludes’ with the ‘first MOT test to remain at three years from registration and annually thereafter, while the Government works to establish a programme of longer-term reform for MOTs.’

To ensure the MOT test is fit for the future, the government is said to be exploring a more effective test for diesel particulate emissions, whether further improvements could be made to the MOT for electric vehicles and the transfer of some larger zero-emissions vans to more standard, car-style MOT testing.

The government’s decision not to proceed with the proposed extension of the first MOT test to four years, comes in response to the concerns raised by trade associations including the Independent Garage Association (IGA), regarding the potential impact on road safety. The IGA organised a government petition opposing the proposed extension, collecting over 11,000 signatures from concerned members and individuals, and highlighted the importance of regular MOT inspections in maintaining vehicle safety standards.

Stuart James, Chief Executive of the Independent Garage Association, commented on the decision, saying, “We are pleased that the government has listened to our concerns and opted to retain the 3-year time period to first MOT. Public safety is paramount, and the decision aligns with our commitment to protecting motorists by ensuring the continued effectiveness of MOT testing in identifying potential safety issues as early as possible.”

Kevan Wooden, LKQ CEO, responded: “This is a fantastic outcome for UK road users and the aftermarket. We lobbied hard alongside our industry partners to push back against the proposed changes on the grounds that they would

put the UK’s hard-won reputation for road safety at risk, endanger our national net zero ambitions and increase costs to motorists. And this is without mentioning the impact it would have had on work volumes in the aftermarket. As with Block Exemption, we have once again shown the impact the industry can have when it comes together to push for what’s right.”

Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive, said: “Plans to extend the first test from three to four years have been met with the full power of the entire automotive industry including motorists, who have been united in their view that extending the test frequency risks driver safety.”

“Every argument put forward to change the date of the first test has been overcome. An extended test won’t save motorists money and will, in fact, generate higher bills from worsening, unchecked problems. While it is right to consult on modernising the test process, the debate over the test frequency, the third in over a decade, should never be on the table.”

Hayley Pells, Policy Lead at the IMI, said: “The decision to further explore modernising tests for electric and automated vehicles is a positive step towards addressing the unique challenges and advancements in vehicle technology. We also appreciate the focus on diesel emissions, which is crucial for environmental concerns. The conclusion of the consultation also underscores the need for ongoing adaptations in MOT testing to keep pace with rapidly evolving vehicle technologies and environmental considerations.”

73% of MOT testers still need to take their Annual Assessment

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) says that an estimated 73% of MOT testers are yet to take their Annual Assessment and face new checks if they miss the deadline of 31st March. As of 8th January 2024, MOT testers are required to submit a recent basic DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check if they are ‘returning after being lapsed or suspended from testing – this includes being suspended for not completing your annual assessment’.

DBS checks are also now required for new testers, existing testers adding another test group and those returning to testing after a disciplinary period of 28 days or a longer cessation of two or five years.

Hayley Pells, IMI Policy and public Affairs lead, said: “This could have a serious impact on garages’ ability to complete MOT testing, and ultimately their customer satisfaction and profitability. Garages therefore need to support their technicians in their training and assessments to avoid any impact on the business.”

“MOT testers who fail to meet the deadline will lose their ability to conduct any MOT work until their training and assessment has been completed, and their DBS check has been approved”, added Hayley.

Any MOT testers who do miss the deadline will have to competently demonstrate to a DVSA representative face-to- face, in their place of work, their ability to carry out an MOT test on a vehicle. Before they can book this demonstration test, technicians will need to submit a DBS certificate to the DVSA online. Technicians without DBS checks conducted within three months of the test date will need to request one, and these can take many weeks to be processed and a certificate received.

About Autotechnician
Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
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