12-month MOT exemption being considered in Northern Ireland

Ministers are considering ways to cut the 72-day wait for a test

12-month MOT exemption being considered in Northern Ireland

Vehicle owners in Northern Ireland could be granted a 12-month exemption from the MOT test, in an effort to clear the current testing backlog.

Speaking on Wednesday, the Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd said: “The current legislation allows me to do it for six months in exceptional circumstances, and obviously Covid was exceptional circumstances, and you were able to roll it forward for a year, and you’d probably want to do it for a year because if you do it for six months you then have in the middle of the year a significant number of increases in your demand for MOT test, so I’m looking at the legislation to see how I most effectively use it to assist motorists in the time ahead.”

This comes as the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) said drivers face a 72-day wait for an MOT test.

Responding to concerns raised by the motor industry, police and insurance companies, he added: “Those factors have to be taken into account, but I am looking at all options to ensure that we make the service available better to those who are waiting on an MOT.

“It’s not a simple equation of ‘let’s move to two years’, but it may be necessary, it may be something we can do and I’ve asked officials to examine it closely.”

Is privatisation the answer?

John O’Dowd has hit back at calls for the privatisation of MOT services, saying it would be “taking work and jobs away from our valued public servants”, before adding that privatisation has been “ruled out”.

But a mechanic in County Armagh said he would support the move, slamming suggestions that it would be open to manipulation.

He told Armagh I: “Just like it is in Scotland, everything is on camera. There is no messing about whatsoever. Whenever people leave their cars in to be serviced prior to an MOT, are they trusting mechanics to do a good then? What’s the difference in trusting them then and during an MOT?

“At the end of the day, I run a respectable garage and there’s people saying everybody is corrupt. It’s absolutely ridiculous. In every walk of life you have the chancers, that’s just a simple fact but you can’t tar everyone with the same brush.

“After all, the whole thing is completely regulated. What’s stopping garages putting up an MOT lane here and employing staff to carry out checks.”

Glenn Wilson, of James Wilson Garage Services, has his own ideas for cutting the MOT waiting times, saying: “I reckon there should be a system whereby a car is left in at the local garage and whenever it’s ready the mechanic can go online and pick a date for the next day or two. Done.”

Source: ITV News

1 Comment

  1. Privatisation is the answer leave it to people who can the job


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