The DVSA’s trade manager for the MOT modernisation project, Ian Marsh delivered an update on the new MOT testing service at an event arranged by the Independent Garage Association (IGA) in Newbury last week.
The new MOT system, dubbed ‘MOT Comp 2’, was designed to replace the old computer system after the ATOS contract came to end.
Marsh described the old system as an overly complicated design with more than 120 reports – of which only 14 were ever used by anyone.
He explained that this time around, the DVSA are building something that testers want and said that new testing service is “deliberately basic”.
Currently, the new system simply records passes and fails with just three reports: ‘slot usage’, ‘transaction history’ and ‘test log’.
Marsh said that new reports and updates are being prioritised by demand and can be installed into the main system with minimal disruption.
Testing of new updates is thought to continue well into 2016, with volunteer garages offering user feedback on new modules before they’re plugged into the main system.
The DVSA has so far been to around 60 testing stations across the country and are continuing trials at volunteer garages – although they are free to turn down the meetings if they are too busy.
Other changes to the new MOT system include role changes and slot payments for multi-site businesses who will now share a ‘pool’ of slots between sites.
Retest rules remain the same but Marsh said the new system gives testers greater flexibility.
The other big change, he said, is calibration which is no longer integrated into the system.
Major problems with the transfer of vehicle data to the new system caused a multitude of issues including duplicates, retests, historic mileages and expiry date preservation all of which have now been fixed according to the DVSA.
Marsh said that the ‘non-component advisories module’ didn’t work and has been ‘unplugged’ from the MOT testing service until a fix has been established.
Slot payment problems
Contingency testing and, more recently, slot payment issues are just some of the other problems testers have reported.
Marsh said that the slot payment problems are partly due to an ‘element of human error’ and explained that users are taken to an external payment website to buy slots.
However, once on the separate website, users have just ten minutes to complete the payment form before the system times out, leaving the payment website with no link to send the money that may been withdrawn from your account.
The DVSA has said that it will resolve the issue and is working hard to allocate all slots by November 6.
In the meantime, the agency advises garages to make payment by cheque if they continue to have problems.
Closing his presentation, Marsh presented data which showed that 7,342,654 MOT tests have been carried out, since switch on at the time of the meeting on October 21.
Share your experiences of the MOT modernisation switch-over process and let us know if you’ve experienced difficulties with slot payments.
Is the new system missing an essential report? Have you volunteered to test new updates? Please leave your comments below.