Drivers in Northern Ireland facing long delays for MOT test

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Delays continue despite a record number of MOT test in the last six months

Motorists in Northern Ireland are facing delays of three months for an MOT, despite a record number of tests being carried out in the last six months.

A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) told BBC News NI that testing now exceeds pre-pandemic levels, with 506,967 tests carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) between September 2022 and February 2023.

That’s an increase of 22 percent on the same period in 2021/2022.

The spokesperson said: ”This increase in capacity has been achieved by adopting a range of measures including the recruitment of additional vehicle examiners, the use of overtime to provide cover for leave and by offering vehicle test appointments on a Sunday and bank holidays, when testing is not normally available.”

Some MOT test centres are offering dates no earlier than June or, in a few cases, July, when using the DVA’s online booking service.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will not penalise motorists for driving a car without an MOT if the vehicle is roadworthy, a test has been booked and the car isn’t listed as SORN.

Earlier this month, the DVA released figures showing a record number of no-shows for the MOT test in Northern Ireland. Around 13,000 drivers failed to turn up for testing in the final three months of 2022.

The DVA faced criticism in 2020 when lift failures at Northern Ireland’s MOT centres caused significant disruption and cost £3.9m in cancelled tests.

This, combined with the effects of the pandemic, meant that capacity struggled to keep up with demand. A new booking system was set up in September 2021 to deal with the backlog.

Source: BBC News

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