The latest data shows commercial vehicles are issued 10 times more prohibitions three months after their annual test (MOT), according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). And the highlighted examples includes tyres worn to the cords.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has updated the wording relating to its categorisation of motorcycle tyre defects. The associated document, published on 22 August 2022, governs how vehicle defects found during roadside inspections or vehicle tests are categorised and what action will be taken when they’re found. In short, treads near the limit are now subject to inspection notices. The updated wording takes effect on 1 September 2022.
The automotive industry has united in its condemnation of any possible frequency change to the MOT test, with UK AFCAR, the coalition formed to lobby the UK government in a post-Brexit era, calling it a “dangerous step backwards for road safety”.
OTR tyres, seasonal tyres (such as winter and all-season products) and the tyre retail business are our key features this month. As important as the development of the OTR and seasonal tyre segments undoubtedly is, the combination of tectonic shifts in the UK tyre retail landscape and transport secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to once again suggest changing MOT frequency have stolen my column’s attention this month. On the latter point, NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay was understandably riled to learn that Shapps is retreading the meddling-with-the-MOT path (something readers can read more about in the UK section of May’s magazine). Either way, renewed focus on MOT protocol is firmly connected with the ongoing development of the tyre retail business.
In 2019 30.2 million MOTs were completed. That figure increased to 31.3 million in 2021 and it is expected to grow again in 2022. Specifically, over a million more MOTs are expected to be conducted this year compared to 2019, according to SecretService.
The DVSA’s Market Surveillance Unit has commenced testing the compliance of OEM and aftermarket braking components. Testing both performance and labelling in accordance with UNECE 90 Regulation, DVSA recently tested eight different brands of aftermarket brake pads.
The proposal that MOT testing in Northern Ireland should move from annual to biennial testing has stirred up a variety of opinions among the trade and the public and, over the past weeks, National Franchised Dealers Association Northern Ireland (NFDA NI) has drawn attention to the issues currently facing the MOT system in Northern Ireland and the Department for Infrastructure’s proposals for biennial testing.
The results of the recently-published summary of findings show that, while the Independent Garage Association (IGA) and other motoring organisations are strongly against biennial testing, a significant majority of individuals are in favour of the change.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is partnering with DVSA to host a presentation to garages across the country in 2022. The idea is to keep businesses up-to-date with “new legislation and industry scams to be aware of, as well as providing an opportunity for discussion of topics such as MOT testing and garage work provision.”
In August 2021, DVSA wrote to stakeholders to consult on its proposals to increase most DVSA statutory fees by 1.5 per cent. The results are now in and the headline news is that more than two-thirds supported the incremental statutory fee increase.
The DVSA has banned Jamie Smith of Rookhill Road, Pontefract for claiming to have ‘completed’ an MOT test and issuing a pass certificate for a Mercedes-Benz C van at a garage in West Yorkshire when it had been seized by Spanish police for not having valid tax or MOT. Smith has also been sentenced to a 12-month community order and banned from testing. According to the DVSA, the van was one of nine vehicles Smith falsely issued MOT certificates for.
IAAF is advising against the Northern Ireland Executive’s (NIE) potential introduction of biennial MOT testing (every two years) for private cars, light goods vehicles following the news that the NIE is consulting on the matter. The current testing frequency in Northern Ireland is 4-1-1 with the first vehicle test at four years of age and then a test every year after. The IAAF argues that the current test frequency is both safer and more cost effective for motorists.
5.5 million drivers took advantage of the government’s six-month MOT extension between April and July 2020. This caused a rush for MOT slots between September and January last year and the same is set to happen again as garages prepare for what some are calling “super September”. On top of all that, nearly 1 million new cars registered between September 2018 and January 2019 are set for their first MOT. As a result, some sources are predicting 16 per cent more MOTs in September 2021 than the year before and 29 per cent more in October. And, of course, more MOTs mean more tyre and fast-fit business. But this is just part of the story, there are also growing signs of pent-up tyre demand hidden in the details of the MOT data.
ATS Euromaster is warning that vehicle and supply shortages plus a surge in demand for MOTs and servicing could force vehicles off the road if motorists and fleets do not plan their vehicle maintenance.
As with the other sources, 2020 data collected by ATS Euromaster shows a significant rise in MOT activity from May onwards but peaking in mid-September through to mid-November as drivers rushed to get MOTs completed following the covid MOT extension.
Continental Tyres is predicting “huge rises” in demand for MOTs this autumn, as more than five million additional tests are due for annual renewal in the second half of 2021. This huge increase in demand comes as millions of tests postponed in 2020, due to Covid-19, come up for renewal from September 2021 onwards, putting pressure on workshops to meet this additional demand. As well as the short-term strain on the UK aftermarket, the creation of a new ‘MOT season’ from September to December is likely to have a more profound long-term impact on the market.