As a company, we have welcomed the decision by the Department of Transport to launch a public consultation in a bid to reform the MOT test. While the outcome on whether to change the frequency of the first MOT could, along with many other companies, financially impact our business, we recognise the need to make the MOT test fit for the future.
In light of advances in vehicle technology and the number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the road today, the MOT test, which hasn’t seen any significant changes to testing frequency since 1967, needs to evolve.
Modern vehicles are undoubtedly more reliable than their counterparts built just a couple of decades ago. Of course, fundamentally safety is of paramount importance, but it’s worth noting that most cars today already have a service schedule that specifies either time or mileage intervals, depending on which comes first and the vehicle itself will communicate this with the owner so it’s entirely reasonable to suggest that MOT testing could follow a similar pattern.
Simply put, we need to move forward and develop an MOT test which is fit for purpose and one which is befitting of the vehicles on the road today.
We would even go as far as to say the entire MOT process needs to be transformed. From the test itself to the regulations and controls surrounding it. Too many times we are hearing about fraudulent testers, and this is the real issue impacting safety. Last year, the DVSA reported that MOT fraud prosecutions were up by 900%. But is prosecution against rogue testers going far enough to put an end to these fraudulent actions once and for all?
Also, are MOT testing stations doing enough to counteract rogue testers? Numbers don’t lie and an AEDM needs to analyse the MOT data for its sites to counteract any discrepancies, while the use of an AEC is fundamental to providing an unbiased view of a testing station’s performance. There are digital tools available today to support this.
Technology has transformed the vehicles we drive and the DVSA has harnessed the power of tech to crack down on fraud – we now need to filter this through to the testing stations and ensure they have the skills and technology available to them to process the data. This will not only safeguard their businesses but keep vehicles road safe.
By Simon King
Autotech Group Managing Director