The Government has confirmed that a total review of all vehicle testing will begin later this year.
The announcement comes in the wake of a meeting between the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) and transport minister Mike Penning to discuss MOT testing for cars and commercial vehicles.
Penning is concerned that the industry is testing low mileage, well maintained cars too often, whilst at the same time missing out on cars and light commercial vehicles that have high annual mileages.
According to unpublished Vehicle and Operator Services Agency figures obtained by Fleet News, initial failures for class-seven (3-3.5t) vans have risen from 47.9% in financial year 2007/8, to 49.3% in 2008/9 and then 50% in 2009/10 (see page 11).
For some time, the RMI has voiced concerns that these class-seven vehicles have arrived for their first MOT test with more than 150,000 miles on the clock.
It wants the Government to adopt annual testing from year one for such vehicles.
However, Mark Cartwright, of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), remains unconvinced that there is a proven safety risk inherent in higher mileages.
“For the larger van fleet operator mileage is not an adequate indicator of safety,” explained Cartwright. “We can point to various examples of large, parcel carrying van operators that rack up tremendous annual mileage but maintain exemplary safety records.”
For more on risk management, come to the fleet news risk management section for the latest advice and information.