MOT Tyre rule change

Technician changing car tyre

Some tyres over 10 years old to fail the MOT

DVSA to email details to Testing Stations Monday 11th January

Late last year the Government announced that any tyres over ten years old on HGV and PSV vehicles will be banned. Whilst this does not apply to the majority of vehicles tested at private Testing Stations, it might to some minibuses with nine or more passenger seats. DVSA say that will be providing further details next week (commencing 11/01/2021).

DVSA has announced that tyres over 10 years old, irrespective of condition would be banned from use on buses and heavy goods vehicles, and more recently saying that there will be “…a ban on tyres over 10 years old on any axle of minibuses with single wheels fitted or on the front axle of any lorry, bus or coach”, and that it will take effect on 1st February 2021. With respect to the MOT, the DVSA has announced that, “Minibuses are covered by MOT classes 4 and 5, so the MOT will change to fail tyres over 10 years old on all single wheels of a minibus”. DVSA have noted that they will be publishing the appropriate changes to the Testers Manual in January. Surprisingly however we’ve also been told this will not apply to any Class 7 vehicles. However their Matters of Testing blog does provide further more detailed information, noting:

“…it also applies to some vehicles that fall into the MOT scheme – so vehicles with more than eight passenger seats that are not used commercially – so are not tested as PSVs. These vehicles are tested in MOT classes 4 or 5, so the Test will change for them.

This means failures for tyres over 10 years old on the front axle of any vehicles with 9 or more passenger seats, and any single wheels of a minibus (9-16 passenger seats). These vehicles will also fail if they do not display a legible date code on in-scope tyres.

So, when Testing you will need to check that each tyre displays a date of manufacture or re-treading date on the appropriate vehicle.

This will not add significant additional test time as the tyres are already checked for condition.”

It is questionable as to whether or not this, “…will not add significantly to the test time…”. What if the lettering is indistinct? One assumes (hopes?) this will be covered in the Manual changes when they are published.

Although so far DVSA have been silent about it, one also assumes it could apply to large camper vans, which also fall into Class 4 Testing, and which may have more than 8 seats, but not necessarily configured like passenger seats in a minibus. Currently, however, DVSA have remained silent on that issue.

Irrespective of whether or not the time to taken to both make the assessment as to whether or not the provision applies to the vehicle being Tested, and then to make the visual assessment, and write it up – is not “significant” as suggested by DVSA, it is still an extra burden on Testing Stations. Is that acceptable when the fee hasn’t been altered now for decades?

Perhaps this is an insight into the Government’s complete lack of interest in the future commercial viability of the MOT Testing component of car and light commercial vehicle repair and servicing businesses. In practice it means that the real cost of the MOT is being disguised by increased repair and maintenance costs to motorists that most Testing Stations who conduct MOTs diligently, need to subsidise their MOT Testing operation.

Further information on the MOT Test regulations related to tyres here.

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