The government is considering scrapping the annual MoT test and replacing it with an inspection every two years, and this is a proposal that TyreSafe would like decision-makers to ponder very carefully – for the sake of road safety.
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.
Following the NTDA’s swift rebuttal of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ suggestions that longer MOT test intervals may help with the cost of living crisis, Mark Field, IAAF chief executive, has argued that the opposite is actually true:
Reports suggesting UK transport secretary Grant Shapps is once again considering changing MOT frequencies to two-yearly intervals began being published on the evening of 26 April 2022. On the morning 27 April, Shapps was refusing to rule out those changes. Whenever the transport secretary came up with the plans they are old news which has been repeatedly debated, consulted on and ultimately rejected. Such proposals are also “ill-advised” according to the National Tyre Distributors Association, whose chief executive Stefan Hays blasted Shapps’ alleged MOT proposal in a statement released at noon on 27 April.
Bush Tyres has expanded its Boston, Lincolnshire branch with four new service bays. The branch offers MOT testing for cars as well as Class 7 MOTs for vans and motorhome. The improvements to the branch include the installation of wider bays for improved access for larger vehicles. Bush has also installed an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Camera and Radar Calibration Service. The mechanical expansion means Bush Tyres Boston can offer products and services to the car, 4×4, SUV, and agricultural tyre segments, in addition to exhausts, batteries, brakes, wheel alignments, wheel balancing and suspension work.
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.
NFDA Northern Ireland has responded to Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure’s consultation on proposals to carry out MOT tests every two years. Sue Robinson, NFDA NI chief executive said that moving to biennial testing “is not the correct solution to the issues currently facing the NI Testing Scheme.” She said that the solution to current capacity issues should not come “at the expense of road safety.” The proposals were put forward earlier this year with the region’s MOT testing capacity struggling to keep pace with demand.
While DVSA data suggests there will be another Autumn/Winter MOT demand peak this year following last years extension related mini-boom, the fleet sector was not part of it in September 2021. According to fleet system provider epyx, there was no substantial jump in the number of fleet MOT tests undertaken during September, despite warnings that deferrals made during the pandemic could lead to massive demand.