DVSA emphasises “phased introduction” of connected equipment amid cost concerns

Garage owners raise concerns about additional costs and call for “more boots on the ground” to reduce MOT fraud

The DVSA is attempting to reassure independent garages that a planned move to ‘connected MOT equipment’ will be phased and that it should have little cost implications to garage owners.

From 1 October 2019, new roller brake testers must be able to connect to the MOT testing service but existing test stations will not yet be required to update equipment unless it breaks down and cannot be repaired, the agency has confirmed.

While it has not indicated when the rule will become mandatory for existing test stations to install connected equipment, the DVSA has said that such a move would involve representations from MOT trade associations and consultants.

“We’re adopting a phased introduction”

Commenting on the Matters of Testing blog, the DVSA’s Chris Price said: “We don’t expect every garage to rush out and start purchasing connected equipment.

“So, we’re adopting a phased introduction.

“From 1 October this year any new applications to operate a test station must install a connected roller brake tester.

“Also from this date, any replacement roller brake testers installed in already approved sites will need to be connected.

“We’ll introduce more equipment types as they become approved by the GEA, using the same approach to the brake tester.”

Reducing risk of fraud

The agency claims connected equipment will save time, reduce the risk of error and help to reduce the risk of fraud.

The rule will also soon apply to decelerometers, diesel smoke meters, exhaust gas analysers and headlamp beam testers – although dates for these are yet to be announced.

Reacting to the news of connected MOT equipment, Steve Mason said: “I think we might be saying good bye to a lot of good independent test stations due to the costs involved for replacing/upgrading equipment to meet new requirements after reaching the end of usable life of the equipment.”

Gary Foster said: “Looking at the state of cars coming into the workshop that have just been MOT’d, I believe you need to concentrate on getting boots on the ground.

”We’ve gone back 20 years in quality and it’s getting worse.”

Not everyone is against connected equipment though.

“The future for the motor industry”

Ian Wills of The Test Centre in Deptford has been involved with the trial and said: “Using this equipment gives us more accurate results, direct onto the MOT Testing Service system, making it quicker for our testers and customers alike; both critical factors in our business success.

“We are always seeking ways to reduce workloads on our testers and with the equipment now being connected, it removes any ambiguity, ensuring safer vehicles for our customers.

“Connected equipment is the beginning of the future for the motor industry and it’s great to see DVSA understanding the needs, to make life easy in the 21st century.”

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