Test stations react as MOT changes go live

Testers remain confused as the new inspection manual comes into force while owners once again question costs

Test stations react as MOT changes go live
The new MOT inspection manual came into force from 20 May 2018 and features more sections and a revised order. Image: Bigstock.

MOT changes made as part of the European Union Roadworthiness Package have now been implemented into the MOT testing service but test stations remain concerned about the increased costs to them and lack of a standardised test fee.

The updated MOT now pre-defines ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ and ‘minor’ defects.

The DVSA say its pre-defined defects “will bring consistency” and will remind “motorists that driving a dangerous vehicle is illegal”.

The MOT testing service has been updated to help garages record the new defect categories.

For most defect areas, the defect is considered as only one level of severity.

Testers now pick that the defect is present, and the MOT testing service will automatically apply either a  ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ and ‘minor’ category.

MOT examiners are required to ensure their garage meet the standards set out in the MOT guides and inspection manual.

Lack of information

Test stations across the country had reported a severe lack of information in the months leading up to the changes, with many calling for a simple break down of exactly what was to come.

Responding to the calls, the DVSA last month published guidance for MOT testers on changes to the MOT inspection manual.

However, for GW read Joe Crocker it was “too little, too late”.

He said: “We are now being bombarded with too little information on a major upgrade to the MOT test.

“So yet again the MOT tester has to know it all or get points/banned.”

Some testers have been reporting problems with the new test.

Commenting on the DVSA’s Matters of Testing blog, Stephen said: “Had a go with the new system, not impressed.

“Couldn’t find exhaust, so had to use the search engine.

“Fuel lines, exhaust mounts and related items weren’t in the emissions where you’d expect to find them but were in the chassis and body and structure section.

“There’s more items missing and hidden away.

“Talk about time consuming.

“The search engine will break down with over use.”

Responding to Stephen, DVSA’s Neil Barlow said: “The defects are structured in the same way as the new manual, which follows the way the directive is set out.

“Because we know that is a different structure from the one used now, we have put a lot of work into the search engine to make that effective at finding defects, which can be much quicker than following a structure.”

MOT test fees

For ‘David B’, like many others, the increased cost on test stations once again brings the MOT test fee back into question but the DVSA is yet to address the issue.

‘David B’ said: “All these new MOT checks we are being told to carry out and some are being forced to pay for new emissions equipment and there’s still no mention of a price fee increase from DVSA.”

In a bid for fair competition, independent garages have long been calling for an end to MOT discounting and for the introduction of a fixed fee test.

Harry said: “Do you not think a qualified competent tester should also be entitled to a fair gradual wage increase, in line with inflation?

“More work, should include better rewards.

“How is that possible with no increase in the MOT fee in over eight years?”

MOT certificate

The new MOT certificate has also come under fire, with many commenting that they look unprofessional.

The DVSA’s Neil Barlow said: “We have done a lot of work with motorists on the new certificate design to make, in particular, defects stand out and typefaces to be larger.

“We will, of course, listen to feedback as we go along and amend if needed but I suspect most of current reaction is whilst people get used to it.”

However the agency has responded to calls to reintroduce business trading names back onto the certificate.

Keep your comments coming in and let us know how you’re getting on with the changes in the comments below.

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