Northern Ireland to take “next steps” on move to biennial MOT testing

One in five vehicles in Northern Ireland do not currently meet minimum safety standards, Independent Garage Association warns

Northern Ireland to take “next steps” on move to biennial MOT testing

Northern Ireland is set to take “the next steps” on a move to a biennial (every two years) MOT testing, Infrastructure Minister for the Driver & Vehicle Agency, Nichola Mallon has said.

Currently in Northern Ireland, private cars and motorcycles are first MOT tested at four years old and light goods vehicles under 3,500kg are first tested at three years old – each of those vehicle categories are tested annually thereafter.

However, some 85 per cent of individual respondents in favour of an introduction of biennial testing for cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles, according to an official summary following a recent Call for Evidence.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “As anticipated, a variety of views were expressed through this consultation exercise and there is clear support for biennial testing for younger private cars.

“Given the high volume of interest and the support for biennial MOT testing, I believe there is sufficient evidence to explore the next steps on a move to a biennial testing regime.

“I have now asked my officials to engage with the main Civil Service Trade Unions and staff and with key stakeholders, including the PSNI, automotive industry and the insurance industry and to commence work for a public consultation.

“Any move to biennial testing will require new legislation in the new mandate.”

Related: Biennual MOT testing proposed for Northern Ireland

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has warned that while most backed a move to testing every two years, many did not understand the safety implications of such a change.

Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive comments: “It is interesting to read that while 85 per cent of individual respondents are in favour of introducing biennial testing for private cars, most did not provide a reason for this support and believe that it would have no impact on road safety.

“The UK government has proposed changing the period before a car’s first MOT test to four years on two previous occasions, and plans were scrapped both times for being too dangerous.

“Statistics show that around one in five vehicles currently do not meet minimum safety standards at any one time in NI.

“If the time between MOT tests was extended, more unsafe vehicles would inevitably be on the road.

“Safety should always come first and if biennial testing was approved in NI it would set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the UK.”

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1 Comment

  1. Is this because of the ramp issue debarcle and the the fact they are still in the EU and have to follow their directives ?


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