Drivers urged to book MOT tests as lawmakers look to change the frequency of car checks

Martin Lewis reveals how to get a 'really cheap' MOT test

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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.

“In addition, I also believe there is merit in considering whether motorcycles should also be tested biennially after their initial MOT test.

“Due to the impact of COVID-19 work on this CfE exercise was delayed as the focus of my officials turned to dealing with the pandemic including developing and administering financial support schemes.

“However, as we progress out of the pandemic, I have decided now is the time to ask the public and those with a direct interest in MOT testing, road safety and environmental protection for their views.

“I realised there will be those in Northern Ireland who favour a change in the frequency of MOT testing and others opposed to any change to the current process.”

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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.

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