posted 4 years ago

MOT Meltdown: Struggle To Issue Certificates Via New System

New, multi-million pound, MOT computer system leaves garages unable to issue certificates which causes legal worries for drivers.

New MOT Computer System Leaves Garages Unable To Log Results

UK garages are struggling to issue MOT certificates thanks to problems with a new, multi-million pound, computer system which leaves drivers worried their cars cannot legally be taken on the road. This technology – when it works properly – enables test centres to electronically record which cars passed the test. Unlike the previous system, it can be accessed via standard and low cost computer equipment such as laptops and tablets. But no such entries can be made when it malfunctions and recent reports suggest it is prone to crashing and running slow. About sixteen of the nation's twenty-four thousand test centres currently operate this new system with the remainder expected to follow suit over the next few weeks.

A garage might compensate by issuing a paper certificate the motorist shows the police if challenged. The expectation is that the electronic confirmation can be completed later. But this contingency could be problematic. If a police officer stops a car he/she tries to find out – via a computer in the police car – whether it has an MOT. In other words, the police consult a database that might not be up to date. A paper certificate that can be replicated via a home computer is unlikely to be considered proof of legality. Further, when a driver pays for road tax there is an electronic MOT check before the transaction can be completed.

New MOT Computer System Failing

Suffolk garage owner Howard Watts - of Riddelsdells Garage in Boxford – told the Daily Mail: “We have been having problems since last Thursday and just can't get the system to work”. Gary Stapleton - of RGS Motors in Langley Mill - added it has: “Been off and on all day” and: “I've got ten cars in and can't do any of them”. Garage owner and former software consultant Richard James - who runs DHM Services in Merthyr Tydfil – said: the system has not worked properly since installation. “It's in meltdown”, he claimed. 

A Driver Vehicle Standards Agency spokesperson said: “We are rolling the service out gradually over the summer to ensure we can address any issues during the transition phase. We will continue to update and improve the service in line with feedback from users.” The Agency's Chief Executive, Alastair Peoples, added: “There is a well-established contingency process in place and all garages can still carry out tests and issue MOT certificates.” Mr Peoples concluded: “We are bringing in additional resource to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and are sorry for any inconvenience.”