Cost implications of connected MOT equipment major concern among garages

Independent garages react to DVSA's new rules on connected equipment

Cost implications of connected MOT equipment major concern among garages
The news follows the introduction of connected roller brake testers on 1 October 2019.

Half of Garage Wire readers are against a move to connected MOT equipment, which is currently being phased into the MOT testing service by the DVSA.

New roller brake testers must now be able to connect to the MOT testing service but existing test stations will not yet be required to update existing equipment unless it breaks down and cannot be repaired, the agency has confirmed.

The rule will also apply to decelerometers, diesel smoke meters, exhaust gas analysers and headlamp beam testers by “early 2020”.

The DVSA has not indicated when it will become mandatory for existing test stations to install connected equipment but it’s expected that such changes would be put the trade for consultation.

Cost implications for garages

Concerns raised by the majority of respondents in a recent GW survey included additional cost pressures.

Peter Miles said: “Just over a year ago I had to buy a new gas/smoke tester to meet the new diesel limits.

“As of now I can’t don’t know if that ‘new’ £4,800 machine can be connected or not.

“If I have to buy another new one I will simply pack it in.”

Steve Mason said: “I think we might be saying good bye to a lot of good independent test stations due to the costs involved for replacing/upgrading equipment to meet new requirements after reaching the end of usable life of the equipment.”

Bob Muir said: “Another downside to this is if you’re retiring and selling up is the new owner will have to install new equipment before they can take over the running of your business which has got to have a negative impact on the value of your business.”

“This should have been done years ago”

Not everyone is against connected equipment though – 33 per cent of respondents said they support the move.

Commenting in the GW forum, Saidy said: “This should have been done years ago, the DVSA has been slow in implementing it because technology already existed.

“[It] definitely improves the quality of MOT standards and [will] root out dodgy testing stations who are afraid, worried and blame costs.

“In reality it will be a one off cost followed by maintenance.”

Related: Additional connected MOT equipment to be introduced by “early” 2020

Similarly, James said: “Let the demise of the race to the bottom culture in the industry begin, step up and join the technology race or die, its that simple.

“Living of the back of an MOT station is no longer viable.

“Raise your labour rates, invest in your staff, equipment and stop expecting the DVSA to provide you with a living.”

The DVSA has said that it will issue special notices as soon as additional connected MOT equipment is introduced.

Are you for or against the move to connected equipment? Share your comments below.

Home Page Forums Cost implications of connected MOT equipment remains major concern among garages

This topic contains 11 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Wayne 1 week, 6 days ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #186810 Reply

    Graham Cox

    This is just another step towards forcing the small independents out of the game and leaving it all for the large chains who just use the mot system as a loss leader to pull customers into their grip. I love new tech my own equipment is less than five years old and very well maintained but the extra costs being passed on to the garages will soon overtake the £54.85 maximum, many of my customers ask why the price keeps going up. I am not against the change just the implementation

    #186811 Reply

    Ash

    The comment above re the implementation is 100% correct.

    The rules (changed this month) allow a roller brake tester which is not working from a CONNECTED standpoint to continue to be used for 7 days.

    If this is allowed, what possible argument is there to insist on having connected equipment? The stand-by (existing) procedure for MTS data entry makes the primary route obsolete by default!

    Cannot argue with intention of connected equipment in principle BUT an ATL brake tester has had to maintain that same data for a minimum period of 12 months (since 2005) so the information is already available to be accessed for checking results / identifying if certain vehicles have been within certain premises albeit this has to be done on the test site rather than remotely.

    A better solution at this time would have been to make “ATL” (i.e not OPTL or TPTL testing) mandatory, to bring things up to a level where there is a lot of existing field experience, a repeatable testing routine and a well defined cost.

    Now the problem has changed from one of potential manual data entry error to one of “failed communication with the MTS system” and a significant potential cost for testing stations.

    #186812 Reply

    ALISON

    I can agree to the principal of the connected Mot equipment but it will put added pressure on micro businesses, for which there is already so much competition. More and more costs are being landed on the MOT stations and if the DVSA wish to keep updating technology, they should bear the costs of it. If you look back over the last 9 years you can see how the costs have shifted to the MOT station. There should be one charge for the MOT, no reductions and this would alleviate the larger businesses using MOT’s as a loss leader, leaving it to be fair game.

    #186813 Reply

    David

    Is it DVSA that are forcing the changes? Modern vehicles are much more complex now than ever before. Is DVSA not just working within guidelines that the manufacturers could be recommending for testing modern vehicles?

    Who is it that actually says that any Test Station must cut price their mot fee? Is it pressure from other Stations? There is a very well respected business owner on Facebook and he has done his best to help garages make money, but he always gets the same argument thrown back in his face, that being, if I charge X joe blogs down the road will charge less so I’ll loose the business. We had a customer the other day asking to book in an mot test for her car, she originally bought the car from us and has had previous mot tests with us, and this time she asked how much we charge, which I’d of thought she should already know because we don’t vary the fee from one year to the next, anyway I said £45 and she said you charged £30 last year, and I politely advised that we don’t vary the price as we do keep to the same fee, and then she said well they are £30 down the road. My point, do you really want that type of customer who is going to nit pick about any repairs if necessary and not want to pay for them either! Personally I’ve no time for people who shop round for the cheapest prices, my experience, training and time is much more valuable than joe blogs down the street, who eventually always gets the short straw. We’re in business until we retire not a two year hit it and then we are out.

    If anyone wishes to point the finger for the way the market is a free for all any price goes, blame the government who started all this by telling the public to shop around for the best prices and not the best standards of service. Check the governments own charge out rates against each other and I’ll guarantee they are all the exact same price and fixed. They say “Different legislation” than yours?

    I can’t make changes on my own, but if the whole industry backed me I’d have an increase in the test fee every year. It’s not as difficult as you think to get it, you must be like the government, ruthless.

    #186814 Reply

    Anthony Roe

    Hmn nobody is saying a lot ,Until you sort out the cost of a mot 54.85 takes nearly a hour to complete a mot mow all the extra time it takes no rise in charges also allows the bigger businesses to exploit the mot service for more big profit as the mot failed and we all know it should not have done in the first place , kettle pot black if i put my 60.00 a hour labor rate up my customers will look elsewhere , and i am lucky to get 45.00 pounds for a mot let alone the full price of 54.85 there is too much competition around me to allow me to charge the full test fee.
    I am for it to weed out the rogue traders but also sort out the costs i have been around long enough to notice all the extra costs you are putting on small businesses give us a pay rise and enforce the costs so we can deliver a honest and decent service.
    If the small independents like me fall away because we run out of cash flow it not always the people at the top have got their hand in the till to why a business collapses, because i certainly haven’t and if i do not see some changes i will walk away while i am still solvent

    #186817 Reply

    Peter Miles

    To me this is a quite deliberate way of shifting MOT business away form the current business model and handing it over to one, or maybe a very few, large chains on a franchise basis. It’s quite obvious that this new equipment will soon become compulsory and unless you give the sole rights to someone like Halfords (and what a reputation they have!) or maybe a “new player” (I’ve been told that Tesco’s were interested) most small businesses will not be able to afford it. And then, without testing, they will shut up entirely.
    Also remind me again when the permitted test fee went up. I charge full price for a fair and honest test but I still don’t see it as a major profit opportunity but more just a way of offering a complete service to my customers and part of the overall business.

    #186854 Reply

    Craig

    Hi there, i wrote in on the “connected” equipment when it was announced .. what i said then i will repeat now .. any MOT station will only have to install “Connected” equipment, when there old equipment needs replacing … remember “Grandfather” rights?

    I would like to hear your comments on Hybrid/EHV`s…. the Gov.uk document (link added) states that you cant refuse to test these vehicles:
    Alternative fuel vehicles: guidance for MOT testers
    In that document there are so many contradictions that its a joke for example:
    “You can’t refuse to carry out an MOT test on one of these vehicles because you’re not familiar with them.”
    Then it says….
    “You need to know how to safely drive the vehicle and immobilise it. If you’re unfamiliar with the vehicle type, ask the customer to explain:
    (1) the starting and moving off procedure
    (2) how to make the vehicle safe
    (3) You can also look in the owner’s handbook.
    What happens if the owner / handbook isn’t available?
    This will confuse you even more: OPTL test lanes will have to use an “Assistant” to assist in parts of test
    Also see Gov.uk HSE>>>
    Gov.uk HSE
    “Additional skills and training will be necessary to allow people to work safely with E&HVs. The levels of competency required will vary greatly and are dependent on the type of work that people are expected to do.”
    There is NO mention o MOT testers
    Alse in the MOT inspection Guide under Notes see:”Note 7: If the vehicle is electrically powered, their unladen weight must not include the weight of the batteries.” where do we get the weight of the battery from? Where is the direction from DVSA … there is no mention in the inspection guide & the manual states this: “AEs and their staff are reminded of their obligation to adhere to all relevant health and safety legislation while MOT testing. Further advice can be obtained from your local health and safety enforcement officer or local authority environmental health officers as appropriate.

    “You should take care when testing electric and hybrid vehicles as:
    “there may be high voltage present at any one of several points around the vehicle, including storage capacitors and batteries on hybrid vehicles, the engine may start without warning when electrical equipment is operated or if the battery voltage drops”
    “You must inspect the battery(ies) on all vehicles including electric and hybrid vehicles.”

    Please feel free to comment.

    #186888 Reply

    David

    Back in 2014/15 I was presented with my first mot test on a Prius Hybrid. I was not even aware of the operating systems until I went outside to start it! I had no clue what to do with it but it was booked in for the mot test, and I’m the main tester now and was the only tester back then.I’m the only person in the garage with any recognised training in our trade, and the garages I communicated with over the years on the internet have always said that people in the garage trade know what they are doing and don’t need any training!

    Is that know not the case or is the attitude still the same!

    I went along to the local college back in 2014 to get on a course to help me better understand these new cars and electrics. If I’d of waited for somebody to send me and pay for the course I’d still be waiting today.The course being an introduction to the electric/hybrid vehicles was not that good and really put me off wanting to pay for another course. The colleges don’t seem interested in training a person but rather have we got your money, yes well let’s get you through it fast and get the next lot in.

    As a member of the IMI I searched their website and found that you can do online training courses for rather little investment, so I did a couple of their courses which to me was significantly better than attending fast paced colleges looking at the bottom line.

    The IMI also have a book they published called Electric and Hybrid Vehicles by Tom Denton. Very much worth every penny you spend buying it, and truth is that if you don’t know the basics after reading that book a couple of times, then I would say its time to look for another job in another trade.

    #187296 Reply

    MIKE

    I HAVE NO ISSUE WITH CONNECTING EQUIPMENT TO DVSA HOWEVER THE COST OF AN MOT SHOULD BE A MINIMUM NOT MAXIMUM THIS WOULD GET RID OF 80% OF DODGY TEST CENTRES. THEN CONNECTED EQUIPMENT CAN DO THE REST SET THE PRICE RIGHT FIRST SO WE ARE ALL ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. THEN WE CAN MOVE INTO THE FUTURE.

    #187363 Reply

    PETE

    I AM FOR THIS UPGRADE AS SUCH , BUT IT SHOULD BE FOR NEW MOT CENTRES ONLY OR NEW EQUPIMENT WHEN REQUIRED ONLY!!! OUT OF ORDER IF YOU FORCE PEOPLE TO DO IT. ESPECIALLY IF NEAR TO RETIREMENT, VERY CRUEL.
    BRAND NEW OPENINGS YES I AGREE .

    #187368 Reply

    Wayne

    I think it’s another way of the government to get more money out of you! It’s unfair that our equipment has to be connected and for what reason may I ask? To spy on us good testers? I run a small garage and wouldn’t be able to afford to upgrade just like that I would simply pack up and do a different job! The mot scheme is getting a joke to be honest. It’s all about money these days and not looking after us workers

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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