MOT testing should be freed from public sector restrictions - Beggs

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MOT testing should be freed from public sector restrictions - Beggs

Given the ongoing MOT testing delays, Roy Beggs MLA, the Ulster Unionist Infrastructure spokesperson, has called for MOT testing to be freed from public sector restrictions and for it to be opened up to competition to ensure that the public can keep their cars on the road.

Roy Beggs MLA said:


“Only 1/3 of successful recruits to become MOT Examiners have actually turned up for training.  I am shocked at the slowness of the DVA and the Department of Infrastructure to respond to their apparent inability to attract sufficient recruits. 


“Whilst DVA are struggling to fill vacancies, being able to book an MOT test and keeping your car on the road remains a concern for too many citizens. If DVA do not have the flexibility to quickly adapt to market forces and attract new recruits then it should be given freedom to operate outside public sector restrictions and MOT testing should be opened up to wider competition, as in other parts of the UK.


“In the short term, I once more urge the Minister to make greater use of MOT Temporary Exemption Certificates so that drivers can keep their cars on the road, get their vehicles taxed and avoid additional SORN fines. I am aware that at least one Temporary Exemption Certificate has recently been issued and I am surprised that there has not been greater use of Temporary Exemption Certificates.


“I unearthed the difficulties that DVA were having in recruiting new vehicle examiners through an assembly question which showed that only 7 of the 21 successful applicants turned up for training. Applicants had to be fully qualified mechanics with at least 3 years’ experience. A cursory examination of current vacancies for vehicle mechanics shows that DVA salaries, which have been restricted by public sector salary constraints have not kept pace with current market conditions for skilled mechanics. This will have made it difficult to attract and retain recruits.


“Drivers are still experiencing delays booking MOT tests with limited vacancies occurring over the next two months. During November there have been some 74,268 MOT tests conducted. Whilst this is slightly greater than the November 2019 pre-pandemic figure, it is down some 20,000 tests from the October figures.”