The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) is urging Mark Harper, the new Secretary of State for Transport not to mess with the current MOT test frequency and instead look to strengthen the current 3-1-1 testing regime through the addition of testing the vehicle’s electronically-controlled safety systems (ADAS). The IAAF, along with UK AFCAR, is actively highlighting to ministers and their departments the dangers involved if the first MOT is conducted when the vehicle becomes 4 years old and the risks this creates that then threaten road safety.
There has been a huge increase in the number of MOT testers disqualified in the past two years. Worse still, the latest news is part of a longer-term trend, with disqualifications having been on the up for years. Indeed, nearly 3.5 times more MOT testers are being disqualified now compared with six years ago.
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.
An MOT tester has received an eight-month suspended custodial sentence for issuing 31 MOT certificates without carrying out the tests, at Taunton Crown Court on 26 August 2022. He was also banned from MOT testing for five years by DVSA.
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 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.