Podcast: The future of the MOT

In the first of a two-part episode, the Future of the MOT, Auto Repair Focus Editor Phil Curry speaks with Frank Harvey, Head of Member Services at the Independent Garage Association, about the MOT, whether it is safe following the consultation results earlier this year, and whether the annual test needs to adapt for new automotive technologies…

Listen to this first episode below, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or Amazon Music, and while there, remember to subscribe for free to ensure you catch part two, and future episodes of the Auto Repair Focus Podcast

Future of the MOT – Part 1 The Auto Repair Focus Podcast

In this new podcast episode, Phil Curry speaks to Frank Harvey, Head of Member Services at the Independent Garage Association, about the MOT, its future, and whether it really is safe…

Future of the MOT

The latest MOT consultation closed in January, following a year of debate and analysis of the submissions from both the aftermarket and the public. The results confirmed that the current 3-1-1 system is the best course to continue on for the UK, but made some recommendations for the future of the MOT.

Discussing the outcome of the consultation, Harvey stated: “Rather than relief, I think it is a belief that common sense has prevailed. I mean, the UK has got one of the best road safety records in the world. And I think to put that in any sort of jeopardy would be the wrong thing to do.”

However, the automotive market is changing, and the future of the MOT, while not its frequency, will need to be discussed. New technologies present new challenges, and these will need to be tested to ensure they are safe, and roadworthy.

“In the consultation, there was a lot of reference to EVs,” added Harvey. “These are still very new, and a large number are now getting to that three-years of age for the first MOT. Speaking to members, speaking to people in the industry, they are seeing EVs with more than 100,000 miles. And if you think about that, we do not really know what to expect with them as they get to that first MOT.” 

We have already seen a path of change when it comes to the future of the MOT, as Harvey explained: “The emphasis of the MOT has changed. It is now more about the environment, about emissions and everything else. And it is right that we protect our health.”

But what else should the future of the MOT be focused on? “ADAS is prevalent on all new cars,” added Harvey. “It is like when ABS came along, and traction control, and all those sorts of things, drivers start to rely on them. And when you are talking about adaptive cruise, early collision warnings, and lane, keeping assist, and so on, drivers will come to rely on it, because it is there. 

“But a lot of these systems do not put a warning light on the dashboard. And they do need calibration, especially when certain things like steering geometry, suspension components, windscreens and so on are serviced or replaced. So again, ultimately, they will probably find their way into the MOT. How long that will take is unknown because what we need is a consistent approach across every MOT station in the UK. 

“So yes, the new technology will work its way into the future of the MOT eventually. But it is that consistency bit that DVSA will have to be assured of before they bring that in. That comes back to how much investment is needed on behalf of the garages to deliver that to the consumer. And that is going to have to be reflected at some point in in the value and pricing of MOTs.”

Part two of this Auto Repair Focus Podcast episode, The future of the MOT will be released on Monday 25th May, featuring an interview with Mark Field, chief executive of the IAAF.

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