Garages are advising motorists to book their car in before “peak MOT season” over the autumn and winter months. Some estimates have shown that garages are expecting around 1.3 million additional tests to take place in October compared to other months.
The Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure is seeking the views of drivers over whether to introduce MOT testing every two years.
This would apply for cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles.
Nichola Mallon MLA, Minister for Infrastructure, launched the call for evidence (CfE) on August 25, 2021.
She said: “At present, subsequent MOT tests are conducted annually but in 2020 I made it clear that I was actively considering the option of moving to biennial testing (every two years) for these vehicles, taking account of all the implications associated with this option.
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Currently, all UK cars must get an MOT either by the third anniversary of its registration or the anniversary of its last MOT, if it’s over three years old.
The rules are different in Northern Ireland however, with private cars needing an MOT four years after their initial test and light goods vehicles three years after their first test.
Ms Mallon continued, saying: “Therefore, I would encourage you to respond to the CfE putting forward your views, if possible, with supporting verifiable evidence.
“I would however, emphasise that regardless of the frequency of MOT testing, the statutory responsibility is to ensure that a vehicle is roadworthy rests with the owner at all times.
“Once the responses to the call for evidence have been analysed my officials will provide me with a report, at which time I will consider what action to take.
“Due to timing, it is not possible to make legislative change within this mandate, even if it was considered appropriate.
“I nevertheless feel it is important to give an opportunity to the public those with direct interest in the matter to express their views.
“Any change to the current position will then be a matter for consideration in the next Assembly mandate.”
There are no current plans for the rest of the UK to follow suit and change the laws on MOT testing frequency.
In response to the plans, one Twitter user Leif B, said: “I say keep it every year.
“We shouldn’t allow standards to slip.
“An eejit behind the wheel is even more dangerous when their car isn’t in good nick. A danger to every road user.”
The consultation will be running until October 19, 2021.