MOT fee freeze “unsurprising” says IAAF
The announcement this week that the MoT testing fee will be frozen until 2015 has annoyed many in the motor trade, not least Stuart James of the RMIF’s Independent Garage Association. James said, “Whilst the RMI acknowledges the Government’s efforts to support the motorist it is outraged that it has failed to recognise the spiralling costs incurred by garages. The last official review of the MoT test price was in 2010.”
However, the IAAF’s Brian Spratt described the government’s announcement as, “Unsurprising”. “With politicians keen to portray themselves as ‘helping hardworking people’ they can make much out of ‘freezing’ a fee which has a statutory maximum level which is rarely charged. As an industry we kick the stool out from under our feet by discounting the fee. When we then go to the government to ask for a rise they don’t take us seriously. All we’re doing is helping politicians look good in the eyes of the public.”
The IAAF has long proposed fixing the fee and increasing the fee for a retest. Such a policy, says the Federation, “would remove the doubt that exists in the minds of motorists that a garage will ‘find’ a problem needing rectification in order to compensate for a discounted test fee, and doing away with free retests may encourage motorists to maintain their vehicles more regularly.”
“What is really galling,” said Brian Spratt, “is that the Department for Transport has been trawling for the trade’s point of view for many months and encouraging the perception that the fee might be raised. As a consequence we have invested time and effort in providing data upon which a rise could have been calculated. In fact, we could have saved ourselves the effort if the DfT had been more candid with us; it’s scarcely the partnership with the MoT trade that the DfT likes to portray.”
News of the MoT fee freeze was one of several items included in a statement from the Ministry of Justice. The principal point of which included a crackdown on whiplash fraud, as well as a scheme designed to reduce the cost of fuel at motorway service stations.