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IGA opposes Northern Ireland’s biennial MOT testing proposal

IGA 21/10/2021

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has responded to the Northern Ireland (NI) Government’s Call for Evidence on changing the frequency of MOT testing, opposing the idea on road safety grounds.

NI currently conduct MOT tests annually after their initial test, but the Department for Infrastructure is proposing that MOT tests for cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles should be conducted on a biennial basis.

The IGA is against the change as the current MOT failure rate for private cars in NI is 18%, meaning that 1 in 5 vehicles do not meet the minimum safety standard at any one time. If the test was extended to a two-yearly period, there would be significantly more unsafe vehicles on the road due to vehicle defects going undetected.

This can be demonstrated with data DVSA provided to the IGA on annual MOT failure rates in Great Britain. Cars inspected on their MOT expiry date have an average failure rate of 32.4%, which increases incrementally each month to 41.9% when inspected seven months after the due date.

Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive comments: “While we understand that there are major backlogs in the NI Testing Scheme, moving to biennial MOT testing would be detrimental to road safety, which should be the Government’s top priority.

“Without an annual MOT test, vehicles may go two years without an inspection of any kind. This will inevitably increase failure rates and cause more incidents on the road, as well as costing vehicle owners more due to damage or failure of components that could have been prevented if the defect was found earlier.”

The IGA recommends that NI Government consider providing MOT testing services through private garages. This would save costs to the taxpayer and make more testing facilities available to local communities, while still meeting all legal and moral obligations for vehicle testing.

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.