MOT crisis: Nine test centres to open on Sunday

MOT test centre. Stock image.
MOT test centre. Stock image.

Nine vehicle test centres will be open this Sunday as part of the response to the MOT crisis.

Testing will take place at Ballymena, Belfast, Coleraine, Craigavon, Larne, Lisburn, Omagh, Newry and Newtownards to allow the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) to increase capacity to get priority customers back on the road.

The DVA says it is working with trade union representatives on how best to extend opening hours of MOT centres during the week in response to the crisis triggered after faults were identified in lifting equipment.

Meanwhile, a further three vehicle lifts are now operational at test centres as work continues to restore normal operations.

Paul Duffy, chief executive of the DVA, said: “Today three vehicle lifts, two in Lisburn and one in Belfast, where no faults were previously identified, have now been independently re-inspected and cleared for use. These lifts are now operational and provide much needed additional capacity for prioritising four-year-old cars, taxis and car dealerships.

Mr Duffy continued: “Since the disruption to services began last week, we have conducted over 19,000 vehicle tests and continue to issue temporary exemption certificates on a daily basis, allowing those drivers to keep driving and tax their vehicle.

“We are endeavouring to work to notify in advance anyone who is affected and to reschedule their appointment as soon as possible. Those with MOT expiry dates in the coming days are being prioritised.”

Testing of heavy goods vehicles, buses and motorcycles remains unaffected by the current disruption. The DVA is reminding customers to continue to book an MOT when they get their reminder letter, to allow the DVA to cancel the test and issue a temporary exemption certificate.

The public can get more information at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/mot-latest