DVSA’s plan to modernise the MOT testing service through connectable equipment resumes next month with the introduction of emissions analysers.
From 1 May, anyone buying an exhaust gas analyser or diesel smoke meter will need to make sure it is a model that can connect to the MOT testing service.
This applies to garages buying replacement equipment, authorised examiners taking over another site and any new garage being approved to carry out MOTs.
Connectable equipment is not mandatory for most garages but some have started to invest in replacing their existing equipment.
In a survey last year, around one in seven garages said they were using some form of connected equipment.
The DVSA says installing connectable equipment can save garages time, reduce the risk of error in entering MOT results and help combat fraud.
Chris Price, DVSA’s head of MOT policy, said: “We paused the introduction of connectable equipment last year to help garages manage their businesses through the pandemic, as well as the impact of MOT exemptions.
“As part of our recovery of the MOT service, we’ve been working with equipment manufacturers over the last few months to introduce connectable exhaust gas analysers and diesel smoke meters to further modernise the test.
“After reinstating the grace period for connected equipment installation in December 2020, we wanted to give garages enough time to review their requirements around connected equipment before bringing in emissions analysers.”
Connected MOT equipment in context
The difference between a connectable and non-connectable model is often its software.
This means that non-connectable equipment models may be made connectable by a software update to allow it to connect to the MOT testing service.
MOT garage managers are encouraged to look into the benefits of connected equipment and understand how it will help the testing process in their workplace.
Investing in connected equipment will improve the efficiency of their garages and help futureproof their businesses.
“Watch this space for your headlamp beam testers”
Colin Gleghorn, director at Automotive consultancy firm Fourmative said: “Be it a software adaptation or new purchase; each VTS much now consider the right approach for their business and be ready for the change.
“Indeed it is the only way if you are either a new applicant, reopening a previously closed MOT centre, if the ownership changes or simply replacing emissions testing equipment
“Beyond compliance, it is also much smarter to remove the risk of human error on input with automatic data transfer of emission to the MTS from 1 May 2021.
“AEDMs and site managers should regularly check test logs to ensure connected equipment is sending results through correctly
“Cost of equipment need not be beyond the reach of most garages and do check with your current equipment provider for compatibility.
“Watch this space for your headlamp beam tester becoming part of the connected equipment list potentially in 2021.”
“Faster, simpler testing”
Director at Boston, Bradley Calcutt said: “Although the new regulations only come into force in May, Boston gas analysers and diesel smoke meters have been connected approved and in use in MOT stations since 2019.
“Our customers are at the core of everything we do, which is why we invest heavily in research and development to ensure we stay ahead of industry developments.
“One of the main advantages of Boston connected equipment is that all items are controlled from one computer station, using one software program developed in-house.
“This means that MOT stations benefit from faster, simpler testing plus streamlined service and support.”