Opinion: Bullying MOT stations is nothing new but a fixed price test should be

GW columnist, Andy Parsons reacts to recent claims that garages are now scaremongering to get work

Opinion: Bullying MOT stations is nothing new but a fixed price test should be
Andy Parsons of Shortfield garage in Surrey writes about the recent MOT changes in his latest column.

As with many things nowadays, millennium bugs, GDPR, Brexit and England winning the world cup, the new MOT changes have had there share of hype and confusion.

The MOT changes, which were made as part of an EU directive and came into effect in May, have prompted claims that some garages are now “bullying” drivers.

Those that are perhaps using underhand practices and scaremongering to get work are likely to have always flouted the rules to solicit work when it’s not required.

Ulterior motive?

One such example appeared recently in the GW forum where a national fast fit failed a car on brakes but when retested elsewhere it was found not to need brakes at all.

Now I appreciate, that could work both ways, but we’ve had our share of vehicles come to us for a second opinion having been failed elsewhere and not requiring work.

I can’t help but feel that anyone offering an MOT for £20, or even “free”, may have an ulterior motive.

Related: Halfords promotes FREE MOT to customers

Reality check

There are now five new defect categories but, for us, things in that respect haven’t changed.

If a customer’s car fails on something that’s a danger on the road, we would advise them not to drive it for their own safety and legality.

If a car fails, even if not classified as dangerous, the driver could be prosecuted for being behind the wheel of an unroadworthy vehicle.

If a customer’s car passes with advisories, we try to advise them on repairs but ultimately, it’s their decision.

The DVSA has made it clear to testing stations that it is not our responsibility to physically stop drivers, we are merely there to advise.

The new regulations have meant we are seeing cars failing emissions metered smoke and a small number of excessive oil leaks plus the previously ignored warning lights such as engine management.

However, there’s not been a substantial increase in failures and many of the emissions-related problems have been solved with a fuel cleaner, service and a good drive.

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