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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

O’Dowd rules out privatisation of MOT services

Northern Ireland MOT Centre

Speaking ahead of Monday’s Assembly debate on waiting times for MOTs, Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has emphatically ruled out the privatisation of the service.

Minister O’Dowd said: 

“There have been calls for my Department to adopt a similar vehicle testing model to that in Britain, through a network of authorised garages. Let there be no mistake, that is a call for privatisation of MOT services, taking work and jobs away from our valued public servants, I will never support that approach.

“The existing legislative framework here rightly does not provide for vehicle tests to be conducted at private garages. The disaggregated private sector test model is unique to Britain, with most European nations favouring a public sector delivery model either delivered by public servants as in the North, or through a contracted authority as in the South.

“In Britain as well as being more expensive at nearly £55, MOT fraud is an issue of concern to the DVSA, so much so that they dedicate part of their official web site to how they expend effort tackling the issue. This would mean people could get a MOT certificate without ever getting their car tested, resulting in unsafe cars on our roads. 

“ Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) staff are working extremely hard to reduce waiting times through increasing its capacity with nearly 1.2m MOT test carried out in the last financial year, the most ever in a single year.

“I will be making announcements in the Assembly on further measures to alleviate waiting times and have asked officials to bring forward other options for my urgent consideration, however privatisation is ruled out.”


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