Following the recent announcement that MOT testing is to now be suspended up to 3 months due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
This leaves UK transport businesses asking the resounding question: what does this mean for my fleet?
At the end of March, the Driver and Vehicle Standards agency (DVSA) declared that all HGVs, trailers and PSVs due an MOT test in a “particular month” will be granted a suspension for up to three months. This is set to take the form of a certificate of exemption (CTE) and will be issued to the relevant vehicles effective immediate.
A spokesperson for the DVSA commented: “Paper certificates will not be reissued for HGVs, trailers and PSVs, but we will amend the digital record so that vehicles can continue to operate.”
Whilst this gives peace of mind to the UK transport sector, ensuring that at least for the meantime they can continue to operate business as usual, it has also been made clear that regardless of a vehicle holding a CTE, it is imperative that all HGVs, trailer and PSVs continue to be maintained, are in a roadworthy and safe condition, and continue to comply with O licence regulations.
Seen as a great initiative by the Road Haulage Association, chief executive Richard Burnett commented: “These are unprecedented times that need creative and pragmatic new approaches. It is vital that all vehicles on our roads remain safe to use and their roadworthiness must be maintained at all times. Routine testing is a vital part of our safety culture and we believe it should be restored as soon as possible.”
Though with this in mind, it is also important to acknowledge those transport businesses who operate other road vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles and light vehicles, as these are also under “urgent” review by the Department for Transport with a formal decision on process changes yet to be announced.
As the UK remains in a state of lockdown and Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordering the public to remain at home except for very specific conditions, the news of MOT suspensions is a welcomed response to ensuring the sustainability of the countries supply chain.
In a current climate where the DVSA, as well as the UK government are confirming that “people should stay at home and avoid travel unless absolutely essential”, motorists are also being advised to declare a vehicle as SORN if it is able to be legally parked off road, is due an MOT and if the owner is self-isolating.