A plan to make the MOT test every other year for cars and motorcycles has been announced by Northern Ireland’s Department of Infrastructure.
Currently the first test for Class IV is after four years, and then every year following. A Call for Evidence has been announced by the Ministry of Infrastructure to investigate any impact of the frequency change.
However, Northern Ireland’s DVA has found annual testing difficult to administer. Unlike the rest of the UK, vehicle testing is only carried out in a handful of government-run test centres. Even before the pandemic, these centres were besieged by multiple crises, with frequent strikes and condemned garage equipment made it very hard for NI’s residents to actually get an appointment.
In May 2020, the Stormont government announced a twelve month MOT extension, with the caveat that light vehicle testing would only resume ‘when there is sufficient capacity to test it’.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon emphasised that regardless of the frequency of MOT testing, the responsibility to make sure a vehicle is roadworthy remained with the driver at all times and that no desision will be taken until all evidence has been gathered. “I realise there will be those in Northern Ireland who favour a change in the frequency of MOT testing and others opposed to any change to the current process,” said Mallon.
“Therefore, I would encourage you to respond to the CfE putting forward your views, if possible with supporting verifiable evidence”.