NFDA urges Stormont to find solution for MOT backlog

Motorists in Northern Ireland face an average wait of 72 days for a test

Sue Robinson NFDA
Sue Robinson © NFDA

Sue Robinson, the chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), has commented on the current state of MOT testing in Northern Ireland.

This follows the news that cracks have been found in lifts at testing centres and the Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister ruling out the privatisation of MOT services.

Sue Robinson said: “NFDA-NI welcomes discussions in Stormont yesterday seeking to address the concerning MOT backlog which has seen motorists in Northern Ireland face an average wait of 72 days for an MOT test with some consumers having reported waiting periods of up to nine months.

“As much as these backlogs have been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and the discovery of hairline cracks in hydraulic equipment, the MOT regime is still in an unacceptable state. Many car dealerships are suffering from reputational damage as they are left unable to sell vehicles.

“We urge Stormont to work with industry stakeholders to devise a plan which tackles the backlog and ensures motorists can have their MOT tests conducted in a timely manner whilst also maintaining road safety.”

“This issue is one that has reached a critical juncture, particularly with the news last month that the timeline to open new test centres in Hydebank and Mallusk, originally due to be opened this year, will now be delayed again, potentially until 2025.

“Road safety is of paramount importance and is a key concern for our members whilst this issue persists. Tragically, 2023 saw the highest annual number of deaths on Northern Ireland’s roads for eight years. Consequently, it is imperative that in 2024, the importance of road and vehicle safety is duly recognized, with pre-emptive measures like MOTs playing a critical role in maintaining this standard.

“NFDA-NI will continue to work with Stormont to push for an MOT model that works for consumers and dealers and the wider motoring sector.”

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