Earlier this year, a long-running strike in Northern Ireland crippled the operations of the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency Northern Ireland (DVTA) which handles all MoTs and tests.
This strike resulted in almost 120,000 driver and vehicle tests being cancelled and many small businesses in the sector verging on bankruptcy.
RMI chief executive, Matthew Carrington says: “This is now the time when the Government must take notice, with privatisation of vehicle testing either coming into line with Great Britain and allowing garages to carry out MoTs, or by franchising out the existing vehicle test centres to private operators, which in turn would allow choice for the consumer and competition between the test centres."
Carrington also called for the Northern Ireland MoT test to be brought into line with Great Britain regarding MoT re-tests.
He added: “In Great Britain, free re-tests of failed cars are available within 24 hours where the items causing the failure are of a minor nature, such as a blown light bulb, a number plate, exhaust emissions or a poor fitting fuel filler cap.
“The Northern Ireland re-test fee of £17 for a car is a money spinner for the DVTA, and having to wait a number of weeks for a re-test does not provide a good "consumer service. "