The UK Government has announced an extension to the current MOT consultation, giving garages more time to express their thoughts on extending the period before the first test.
Announced on 18th January, the MOT consultation was initially due to end on 28th February. However, after discussion with industry bodies, and outcry at the short time to investigate a topic that could seriously impact the country’s road safety, the Department for Transport (DfT) has now confirmed the deadline for submissions has moved to 22nd March 2023.
The MOT consultation also includes discussion around environmental and emissions testing, with respondents being asked to express views on how the MOT could be improved, such as including NOx emissions in the annual test, how the MOT could tackle excessive vehicle noise, and whether options should be explored for assessing the health of electric-vehicle specific components, such as motors and batteries.
Concerns around frequency in MOT consultation
Yet the issue of MOT frequency is the most concerning issue in the current consultation. Alongside proposals for moving to a 4-1-1 system, responses are also being invited on whether certain vehicles should move to a test every other year instead.
The MOT consultation is a complex one with many different aspects to comment on. Therefore, the initial six weeks offered by the DfT was seen as inadequate by a number of automotive industry trade bodies. Following lobbying by various groups, including a meeting with the Independent Garage Association (IGA) and the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA), the consultation deadline has been extended by another three weeks.
“After seeing the incredible support for our campaign, and meeting with the DfT and DVSA in conjunction with the SMTA, I am delighted that our collective concerns have been listened to,” commented Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive.
“The initial six-week MOT consultation period was far too short to thoroughly consider the impact that the many complex topics covered within could have on road safety. Allowing a further four weeks to the consultation period will enable stakeholders time to appropriately consider and respond to the extensive detail contained within the consultation documents.
“While this is good news, we will not relax our efforts to ensure that public are protected from the proposed move to a 4-1-1 MOT frequency, and will continue to work with the DfT throughout the consultation period and beyond.
The IGA has set up a petition to gather views against the possibility of a 4-1-1 MOT frequency, and is also urging aftermarket businesses to respond to the MOT consultation with their views, to help prevent a move that could impact UK road safety.
You can find details of the MOT consultation and how to respond here, and sign the IGA petition here.