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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

How our strategy and vision will affect the future of the MOT

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: MOT Modernisation, MOT testing service, News and updates

I wanted to catch up with you on the recent publication of DVSA’s vision and strategy and explain how that will affect the future of MOT. 

Our strategic plan to 2025 and vision to 2030 set out our vision of keeping Britain moving safely and sustainably.  

To help us achieve that, there are 3 key areas within the vision that we will focus on. We want to set standards, assess and test. We want to inform, educate, and advise our customers. And finally, we want to license and accredit, regulate, and enforce. I would like to share more about what we’re planning in these areas within the MOT and vehicle testing industry.

MOT tester inspecting under car

Setting standards within the industry 

Standards work when they are current, relevant, clear, and practical. Because only then are they trusted and truly effective. So, we want to make the best use of data and technology to improve standards of MOT testing. 

The vision sets out the likely impact that technology will have in DVSA, including the MOT. A core objective will be to ensure the future of the MOT strikes the right balance between maintaining a high standard to ensure vehicle and driver safety, alongside keeping pace with new technology and supporting the sector as these changes emerge. 

Connected equipment 

A good example of this is ‘connected’ garage equipment, which is mandatory for new garages, and encouraged for all. As you know, this allows certain parts of an MOT test to be uploaded directly to our computers. This makes the test quicker and cuts out the kind of keying in errors that even the best of us can make.  

We already use connected equipment with emission gas analysers, diesel smoke meters, and brake testers  since 2020. Modernising the equipment used will help secure the future of MOT. Further pilots that will support MOT testers improve accuracy include using cameras to aid identification of vehicles and trialling connected headlamp aim hardware. Chris Price blogged more about how we’ll be trialling connected cameras.  

Getting you the right information, at the right time 

I understand the practical reasons as to why mid-test it can be quite a drag to check a manual or call the helpdesk if those are not to hand. But maintaining and improving the quality of testing remains a key priority – and we want to better support you with this. 

Over the next few years, we aim to pilot the use of different technologies to help us do this – for example, use of voice recognition through phones, to help provide automated real-time advice. This might all sound a little advanced – but these technologies are in use in other industries and will become more commonplace. So, starting some pilots will help us all get to grips with what may be possible.  

MOT tester testing a car headlamp

License and accredit, regulate and enforce  

We know you want to be able to get on and run your business.  And you need us to recognise you, or your garage, officially so your customers know you’re qualified. You also need us to identify anyone competing in the MOT industry unfairly and dangerously and, where we must, to stop and even prosecute them. 

Tackling fraud 

Connected equipment is a great way of tackling fraud. As part of our strategy for the next few years, we want to look at how we can better tackle this – while minimising the impact on those who are doing things right. Initially we will be investing more into how our risk rating operates, making it ‘cleverer’ to help identify those up to no good. Integrating new IT systems to monitor MOT data input and analysing trends that appear will support DVSA to root out MOT fraud and make roads safer.  

Going beyond connected equipment, it seems inevitable that we will need to look at ways of checking emissions more stringently. And the various types of driver assistance systems will become more important as drivers rely upon them more.  

MOT tool board, with tools

Inform, educate and advise 

Another part of our vision is to do more to inform, educate and advise customers to do the right thing first time. That means better services and safer practice for everyone. As part of this, we want give motorists more information on how they can keep their vehicle safe to drive.  

Doing more with advisories 

We know we have a lot of information on the MOT Testing Service (MTS) that is of benefit to your customers.  

Car owners can already access the MOT test history and use the reminders service, as well as being able to obtain their previous test certificates. But as well as reminding people they need to get a test, there might be more we could do. For example, as technology and data from vehicles improves, we could remind motorists about their recent advisories and when they might need looking at.  

We could send them a text or email reminder that they had an advisory on their tyre tread and that they will need to sort it out before the tyre becomes illegal.  

Adding value for customers 

With emergent technologies there is more that we can do to improve and increase the amount of relevant information we communicate. For example, information on recalls, and advice for motorists on what to do in-between MOTs. The more value we can get from the MOT and the associated contacts we have with motorists, the more we can improve road safety and air quality to really demonstrate the important part that the MOT plays in society.  

Planning ahead 

I hope that I’ve been able to show you that we have a clear vision for the future of the MOT over the next 7 years. This work will be alongside the outcome of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) call for evidence, and consultation, which ran earlier this year into modernising the MOT.  

Within that, DFT asked questions around the benefits of technology, sustainability and air quality and how we can better work with partners (such as MOT garages) to deliver services to the public. We will share more about the outcome of these questions with you soon and how we hope to explore these areas. 

Moving forward together 

With your support, we’ve already made huge strides in the rollout of connected equipment. And we have already started making changes that will make life easier both for you and your customers, especially in the digital sphere.  

I remain incredibly grateful to you for the hard work that you do to maintain the MOT as a fantastic and unique partnership between industry and government.  

As always, we'd like to know what you think, so let us know in the comments.

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  1. Comment by Chris posted on

    Ever since you farmed out training the standard of mot tester has dropped considerably, when will DVSA realise they made a mistake and put it right, or are DVSA incapable of being transparent with decision making. You have lost control of the message given to new and current Testers, when DVSA did the training you knew you was told the right stuff, not now, being trained by non DVSA people is just ludicrous. How long before you realise your mistake Mr Barlow?

    • Replies to Chris>

      Comment by Neil Barlow posted on

      Thanks for the note Chris. I guess you are right in one part of what you say, that keeping control of standards is easier with, say, 25 or so employees rather than however many trainers working in different companies. But - the old model, was quite inflexible for people joining the scheme - particularly those who may find travel and overnights difficult. And training is accredited - using the same recognised approach we accept in other fields, and elsewhere in automtive.

      But that doesn't mean the current model is perfect, and that there might not be more we can do to best ensure consistency. So as with all things like this we continue to review - drawing in our trade user groups (that includes trade bodies as well as some garage owners) to help prioritise and guide what we do. So - yes, always open to improving, but I would imagine just switching back to the old way is unlikely to be the answer (more civil servants to do training seems unlikely).

  2. Comment by Martin posted on

    I couldn't agree more

  3. Comment by Martin posted on

    The fact you would like to know what 'These basics' are tells me that I am wasting my time because I spent two years pointing out shortcomings/mistakes and omissions in the mot scheme and none of the messages made it on here apart from one where you took the credit for rectifying it two years after I pointed it out.

    • Replies to Martin>

      Comment by Neil Barlow posted on

      Ok. Thanks. I don't think I have seen the comments. If they have gone missing, I can only apologise. But by all means drop us a note.

  4. Comment by Scott Haywood posted on

    What about "hidden advisories" floated about a while ago, ones that have been used to cover ourselves, bit customers always complain about... like child seat to rear?

    • Replies to Scott Haywood>

      Comment by Neil Barlow posted on

      This is mentioned in one of the other blog posts, where a while ago we talked about whether those things that are about explaining why something couldn't be tested - rather than telling someone something was nearly at fail - could be treated differently, as we know sometimes motorists can find such things confusing. So I don't think on the urgent pile to look at, but something we will look at again I'm sure when we look at whether advisories can be used to better drive people to get stuff fixed inbetween MOTs.

  5. Comment by andrew guye-johnson posted on

    when is the price going to increase and not by pence !

  6. Comment by Bob Jones posted on

    Your statement "Another part of our vision is to do more to inform, educate and advise customers to do the right thing first time", how can you achieve this when you got rid of DVSA MOT training and allowed external training providers to deliver courses, that, lets be honest has had a drastic reduction in the quality of new testers, how can we trust your statement when you yourself got it wrong and will not correct DVSA's failings on, what is, a serious subject?

    Your current education plan is flawed as you no longer have control over the quality of training nor the correct message given out, also the annual CPD is flawed, just having a piece of paper does not mean a tester has actually done and training, so you trust the testers to do their annual training but do not trust the testers to type in 7 digits of a VRM?

    As always a statement that treats the MOT industry as idiots.

    • Replies to Bob Jones>

      Comment by Neil Barlow posted on

      Thanks for the feedback Bob,

      As you will have seen in the recent call for evidence, DfT have asked for feedback on the approach to training, so it will be interesting what we see there. But - we do need to recognise that there are some advantages in delivering training in the education sector - where already the foundation technician qualifications are done.

      And you are right that the annual CPD may be imperfect - but then so was sitting in a session every 5 years. At least now we do have a test at competence. But, as with everything, I'm sure things can be improved - so always welcome ideas on how.

      On VINs - of course most testers for most tests do type the numbers in correctly. But we do get several 10s of thousands done wrongly each year - causing a right old hassle for motorists trying to tax their cars! So if we can reduce those errors, that would seem like no bad thing?

      • Replies to Neil Barlow>

        Comment by Bob Jones posted on

        Sitting in refresher course.... That was brilliant, you got a chance to network and you got the right message, direct from the horses mouth, so your saying your own department both Policy and Training were useless? Interesting to know that you hold your staff in such little regard.
        Thank you for your support.

        The eduction sector have little to no knowledge of the MOT industry, it's evident in the quality of tester they are churning out, not one of them worth employing, not if you want to keep your station.

        As always, DVSA have little connection with the real trade...