Last summer the EU Commission, just a year after their last load of MOT revisions issued a proposed new ‘Regulation’ about MOT Testing. Within their proposals were some good ideas – getting cars off the roads with dangerous defects, for example. However an idea rumoured to stem from Germany, that a car should fail the MOT if it wasn’t exactly how it was when it came off the production line – so any modification at all would result in a failure, was a bad idea. This was opposed by most member states, and so was rejected. Eventually the EU Commission had to accept that they would need to drop much of what they had proposed, and were forced to re-write the whole thing – which they did.
So the new proposals went to next stage in the labrynthian process of turning something into EU law in the European Parliament. But, just like the Civil Servants in the EU, the EU Parliamentarians need to make work for themselves to justify their salaries and expenses – so they too needed to poke their noses into the MOT, and have come up with a recommendation that MOT Testing Stations in Europe should not be allowed to do both MOT Testing and MOT failure repairs.
Clearly this would cause huge problems in Britain where the vast majority of Testing Stations do just that. It would also be hugely unpopular with Britain’s motorists because the 40% who fail the MOT will need to make three journeys to get their pass certificate – one for the failure, a second for the MOT repair work at a different garage, and a third to go back for the MOT re-Test. And because the Testing Stations will be ‘stand alone’, so needing to recover their full overhead from MOT Testing alone, there won’t be much discounting either! Of course, a lot of Testing Stations will stop Testing, so motorists will probably have to drive further for their MOTs, and probably need to book well in advnce.
Yet if you look at road accident statistics in Europe, of the four safest countries, three, Holland Britain and Malta have Testing Stations which also carry out repairs. So where did this unnecessary idea come from? Where else – from Germany of course. It is suggested that this comes from large German MOT Testing companies like DEKRA, and TUV who have large multilane Testing sites throughout Europe, but can’t get into Britain due to the competition from smaller MOT businesses offering both Test and repair. The rumour is that they have been lobbying German Members of the European Parliament to push through this change, thus opening up the British market for them to exploit.
Whilst it is being resisted by British Government Officials, if, either as a motorist, an MOT Tester, or the owner of an MOT Testing Station, you strongly oppose such a move, then tell your own MEP about it and ask him or her to oppose it vigorously in the European Parliament. I will be writing about this in more detail in MOT Testing magazine which is published in early May – I’ll update our trade readers on the latest news then.
On this vital MOT issue, your voice in Europe will count, so use it!