MOT test changes: Connected technology to be installed in garages to prevent scammers

DVSA explains 2018 MOT test changes

Some MOT centres already have connected technology installed but this has yet to be rolled out to all 23,500 centres. However, the DVSA said they could not immediately confirm a date when all garages would receive the new tools.

Neil Barlow, Head of MOT testing at the DVSA said the changes would ensure “better consistency” and “added value” for road users.

He said: “We’re talking about particularly the metered parts of the MOT test and being able to electronically connect those to our IT.

“There’s effectively a web-based service that captures MOT results at the moment, predominantly that’s MOT testers typing in MOT results.

“But for things like a roller brake tester, emissions kit, headlights, it’s possible to connect that type of kit to the web service.

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“That helps on a couple of fronts. It should help from an efficiency point of view in an MOT garage.

“It gives a much greater certainty that an MOT tester has done an MOT. But also it captures richer data and gives us all a richer data set which allows us to improve safety.”

Under current MOT rules, tests have to manually key information into their MOT computers.

However, the DVSA has previously warned this was “prone to errors” and can add time to the overall test.

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The traditional system is also open to fraud with details able to be added to the database without these having taken place.

Connected tests prevent this as drivers will need to drive onto the testing tools for readings to take place.

Eric Smith, MOT scheme manager at KwikFit said: “Instantly it cuts out bogus testers doing MOTs when they are sat in front of the TV at night which is fantastic.

“It does take out human error which is fantastic and it improves quality because the correct information is going into the system.”

He added: “I’ve been working very closely with DVSA and the roller brake tester manufacturers. One in particular, we have implemented a camera with that.

“The second you press ‘start MOT brake test’ it takes a picture of the vehicle on the roller brake tester.

“You can see the registration clearly, you can see it’s a Volkswagen Golf and it’s red, so you know it’s that vehicle that’s been on the roller.”

Connected roller brake testers were the first type of connected technology to be introduced to tests last October.

Once connected tools are more widespread, road technology could be used to catch out offenders.

Mr Smith added KwikFit were working with “number plate recognition” which can load car details onto the DVSA online system.

Mark Slade, Head of KwikFit also suggested garages could turn off petrol pumps for those who did not have a legal MOT test recorded.

Mr Barlow said: “Most of this really is about better ensuring consistency. One thing I’m keen on doing is making it clear upfront.

“Less, it’s motorists surprised to find their MOT was a bit different but actually they have a bit more transparently got some choice.

“If I go to garage X there’s some added value for me in terms of the information I’ll get that might help me look after my car.”

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