The alterations, outlined in the Road Traffic (Vehicle Testing) Bill and likely to come into force in 2002, will computerise MoT records and record failures as well as passes as part of a £22million-a-year overhaul to the present system. And CAP Motor Research and Glass's Guide this week warned that, if a company car had several recorded failures in its history, it could damage its residual value compared to a well-maintained first-time MoT passing vehicle.
The changes do not alter the actual MoT test nor the age of cars it applies to, but a growing number of fleets with replacement cycles of more then three years are directly affected. And the number of fleets at risk will continue to rise: the Alan Jones & Associates Company Car Survey Report 1999 reveals that most fleets surveyed ran vehicles for four or five years and not three. Also, a model which earned a poor MoT reputation could affect the value of younger fleet models as well.
Under the proposals, each of more than 19,000 test stations in the UK will be provided with electronic equipment free of charge by private service providers, allowing for the immediate updating of Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency records when an MoT is carried out, whether it is a pass or fail. The cost will be met with a small increase in the bill for the MoT. The system will allow for on-line access to provide instant checks on MoT stations to identify centres where test standards are not being met, which is expected to allow for more rigorous enforcement of the test.