Proposals to carry out MOT tests every two years in Northern Ireland were put forward in a consultation by the Department for Infrastructure earlier this year. The National Franchised Dealers Association Northern Ireland division (NFDA NI) has responded to the NI Governments Call for Evidence.
Sue Robinson, NFDA NI Chief Executive said:
“Moving to biennial testing is not the correct solution to the issues currently facing the NI Testing Scheme. It very much appears that this Call for Evidence has been proposed due to the covid testing backlog and the existing capacity in the system being unable to cope.
“NFDA NI believes the importance of road safety should be the primary concern and other avenues should be sought to ensure that testing can be carried out effectively whilst maintaining the current testing periodicity. A capacity issue should not be remedied at the expense of road safety”.
“The move to biennial testing will undoubtedly increase defects in vehicles, cause harm to established motor repairers and local communities. We would urge NI Government to seriously rethink these proposals and take our concerns into account”.
Approximately a quarter of NI’s one million vehicles would miss an MOT each year if the changes were implemented.
NI’s continuing problems with implementing the MOT have been well documented in CAT. Even before the pandemic, the system was stretched to on the brink of collapse following strikes by test centre workers and a mass failure of MOT ramps. Unlike the island of Great Britain, NI’s MOT is conducted in a small number of government-run test centres.