MVRA takes the view that a mandatory fee might only benefit dedicated MOT test stations (those that are wholly funded by the inspection fee for carrying out statutory vehicle testing). It thinks that such a move could be contrary to the interests of those smaller independent garages that incorporate a VTS facility and also carry out repair work.
The MVRA also maintains that a mandatory fee may pave the way for the introduction of city-based multi-lane VTS¹s operated by major companies specialising in the supply and fitting of aftermarket components and this could be detrimental to the survival of small independent repair businesses.
John Wesley, MVRA's Head of MoT, says, "It may be that the proliferation of large VTS¹s would lead to the mass closure of independents in much the same way as supermarkets and out-of-town retail parks led to the closure of smaller independent shops. The other major difficulty is in its policing. Presumably the collection of the test fee would have to be centralised to ensure compliance?"
John Wesley continues, "The market sets its own local level. MVRA takes the view that our members know their market and set the fee at a level that is locally acceptable and brings them in the business they need. Of course some garages may use the flexibility of the test fee to attract business and that is currently - and should remain - at their own discretion."