Major factors affecting the independent sector: MOT structure changes and official communications
The IGA is releasing a series of bulletin articles detailing factors affecting the independent motor industry in today’s modern age. This time, we’re discussing threats to the MOT structure and communications from the regulatory bodies.
2018 saw significant changes to the MOT process with the introduction of EU 2014/45, designed to bring vehicle roadworthiness in line across Europe, but within weeks of its implementation amendments were being made.
The frustration for the sector is that communications from the DVSA on the updates and changes were at best unclear, or at worst contradictory, but in all instances poorly communicated.
April 2019 saw another round of changes primarily associated with the risk rating of MOT stations and individual MOT testers. Historically, MOT Stations rated as low risk were often not re-visited by the DVSA for several years, irrespective of the turnover of actual testers. Individual testers were also only sanctioned if it was identified that they had been undertaking inappropriate actions.
This has now changed. With the advent of ‘big data’ that is now available to the DVSA due to the millions of MOT tests and tester information gathered on the MTS, both MOT stations and MOT testers are separately risk rated using a Red/Amber/Green (RAG) marker system. Now, rather than reviewing this every few years, “big data” will enable the DVSA to review these markers monthly.
This means that an MOT station with a green marker could go red, simply by employing a new tester that carries a red marker from a previous employer. The amber and red markers do not necessarily mean that a tester or testing station has done anything wrong, it could simply be that their data of MOT tests is outside the national norm.
It is important that MOT station managers monitor the RAG rating of their business and understand what could influence the RAG marker attached to their station. They should also be aware of their tester’s RAG marker and again, understand what influences this.