‘Clear support’ for MOT every two years in Northern Ireland - Minister
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The Infrastructure Minister was speaking as she published a report on support for move to biennial MOT testing.
The report is a summary of the findings from a Call for Evidence seeking views on the potential introduction of biennial (every two years) MOT testing for cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles.
Currently private cars and motorcycles are first MOT tested at four years old and light goods vehicles under 3,500kg are first tested at three years old. Each of those vehicle categories are tested annually thereafter.
A total of 1,224 responses from a wide range of individuals, groups, and those representing the industry were received.
Thanking all those who responded to the Call for Evidence, the Minister said: “As anticipated, a variety of views were expressed through this consultation exercise and there is clear support for biennial testing for younger private cars.
“Given the high volume of interest and the support for biennial MOT testing, I believe there is sufficient evidence to explore the next steps on a move to a biennial testing regime.
“I have now asked my officials to engage with the main Civil Service Trade Unions and staff and with key stakeholders, including the PSNI, automotive industry and the insurance industry and to commence work for a public consultation. Any move to biennial testing will require new legislation in the new mandate.”
In overall terms the outcome was clear for private cars and motorcycles with some 80% and 77% respectively of respondents believing that MOT testing for those vehicle categories should be done on a biennial basis. In terms of light goods vehicles, there was a very slight majority, with just over 50% believing that vehicle category should be MOT tested on a biennial basis.
In terms of the breakdown of responses, 85%, 54% and 82% of Individual respondents were respectively in favour of introducing biennial testing for private cars, light goods vehicles and
motorcycles, while 89%, 92% and 79% of Automotive Industry respondents were respectively against its introduction.
The PSNI, NIPSA, ABI and BIBA were all against the introduction of biennial testing for any of the vehicle categories. Both insurance bodies believed that the introduction of biennial testing would most likely lead to increased insurance premiums here.
In terms of whether biennial testing, if introduced, should extend to vehicles over 10 years old, there was ‘quite mixed overall response’. Majorities of 56% and 54% for private cars and motorcycles respectively thought it should be extended, while a majority (57%) were against extending for light goods vehicles.
A significant majority of 76% believe that introducing biennial testing for the subject vehicle categories will have no impact on road safety.
The summary of findings is available through the following link www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/publications/dfi-call-evidence-biennial-mot-testing-summary-responsesIn Northern Ireland the current roadworthiness test, more commonly referred to as the “MOT test”, is a devolved matter and is the responsibility of the Minister for Infrastructure.
The Department for Infrastructure’s Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) are responsible in Northern Ireland for conducting roadworthiness testing of all vehicles which use our public roads through vehicle inspection at its 15 test centres.
The key legislation which governs MOT testing in Northern Ireland is Part 3 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, the Motor Vehicle Testing Regulations (NI) 2003, the Goods Vehicles (Testing) Regulations (NI) 2003 and the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (NI) 1999.