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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

MOT testing could potentially change to every two years

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon today launched a Call for Evidence to seek views that will inform a decision on the potential introduction of biennial (every two years) MOT testing for cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles.

Currently private cars and motorcycles are first MOT tested at four years old and light goods vehicles under 3,500kg are first tested at three years old. Each of those vehicle categories are tested annually thereafter.

This Call for Evidence therefore invites all those with an interest to provide evidence, including local, national and best practice examples, relevant data and views that could help shape vehicle testing policy on the frequency of testing. The Minister is keen to hear from individuals, groups, organisations, the automotive industry (particularly those involved in MOT preparation) and those with a specific interest in road safety or the environment.

The Minister said:

“I have previously stated my intention to look into this issue. As we move towards recovery from the COVID pandemic, I believe that now is the right time to ask the public and those with a direct interest in MOT testing, road safety and environmental protection and others for their views on the potential introduction of testing every two years for some vehicle categories.

“I realise there will be those who favour a change in the frequency of MOT testing and others opposed to any change to the current process. Therefore, I would encourage everyone with an interest to respond to this call and clearly put forward their views with supporting evidence where possible. I want to hear your views.

“Road safety remains a priority for me and I would like to remind drivers and riders that regardless of the frequency of MOT testing, the statutory responsibility to ensure that a vehicle is roadworthy rests with the owner at all times.”

The Call for Evidence will remain open until 19 October 2021.

Responses can be made online at:

You can also download the Call for Evidence from the Department’s website at:

where you will also find details of alternative methods of response.

Following closure of the Call, the results will be analysed and a report provided to the Minister for her consideration. This may result in the need for further engagement and formal consultation.

In Northern Ireland (NI) the current roadworthiness test, more commonly referred to as the “MOT test”, is a devolved matter and is the responsibility of the Minister for Infrastructure.

The Department for Infrastructure’s Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) are responsible in Northern Ireland for conducting roadworthiness testing of all vehicles which use our public roads through vehicle inspection at its 15 test centres.

The key legislation which governs MOT testing in Northern Ireland is Part 3 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, the Motor Vehicle Testing Regulations (NI) 2003, the Goods Vehicles (Testing) Regulations (NI) 2003 and the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (NI) 1999.

Any subsequent change to the current frequency of MOT testing would be a matter for consideration in the next Assembly mandate as such a change would require the introduction of primary legislation which is not deliverable before the end of the current mandate.


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