During 2005, all 19,500 UK MoT testing stations are receiving new equipment that will enable the MoT test to be computerised. The rollout is a joint venture between the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Siemens.
However, many MoT test stations have expressed deep concern over the reliability of the system and the level of technical support currently on offer.
Ian Davis-Knight, head of MoT technical operations, believes the problems are so serious that the rollout should be delayed: “The RMI is advising the Government and VOSA to delay the rollout until all the problems have been ironed out.
“Many MoT testing stations are finding problems in the system that are very difficult to overcome. It is becoming clear that more work may need to be done before we are ready for a full rollout.”
These problems have also highlighted problems with technical support services.
“Even though we are still in a trial situation, access to technical support is severely limited,” says Davis-Knight.
“We are about to fully roll out the system, but many garages are finding it impossible to reach the technical helpline. In some cases they have had to wait on the phone for an hour to speak to a helpline adviser.
“Some testing stations are still waiting to receive their starter packs.”
Davis-Knight says: “If the rollout continues as planned, we foresee major problems which could adversely affect the industry, as well as the public when it comes to re-licensing their vehicles.”