Fleet Communication Critical With Arrival Of New MOT Rules

Kwik Fit | Wednesday 2nd May 2018 12:07pm

  • The new MOT comes into effect on May 20
  • Company cars and vans have an 82% first-time pass rate with no rectification work required
  • 17% of company vehicles fail their MOT - typically due to tyre, light bulb and wiper blade defects

Communication and clarity with company car and van owners and drivers will be more critical than ever with this month’s introduction of MOT test changes with the new rules potentially contradicting the established Road Traffic Act, according to Kwik Fit, the UK’s largest autoMOTive repair company.

 The new MOT check comes into effect on May 20 with, instead of vehicles being given a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, defects found will be categorised as ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ or ‘minor’ with the first two resulting in a test failure. Additionally, there are stricter rules for diesel car emissions and additional items included within the test.

 Kwik Fit is the UK’s largest MOT tester and across its approximately 500 authorised MOT centres reports that company cars and vans have an 82% first-time pass rate with no rectification work required. A further 17% of company vehicles fail their MOT checks - typically due to tyre, light bulb and wiper blade defects - but following repair undertaken by Kwik Fit subsequently pass the MOT on the same day.

 With the Europe-wide introduction of the new MOT in accordance with a European Union directive, vehicles deemed to have a ‘minor’ defect will still pass the MOT. However, under the Road Traffic Act 1988 vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition with drivers failing to comply facing a maximum £2,500 fine and three penalty points on their driving licence.

 Furthermore, explained Dan Joyce, service, maintenance and repair (SMR) business manager for Kwik Fit Fleet, existing fleet policies of owner/operator fleets, contract hire and leasing companies and fleet management companies may contradict what is deemed to be a ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ or ‘minor’ defect under the new MOT rules.

 Mr Joyce said: “We have an obligation to adhere to MOT rules, but we also have an obligation if a known defect is identified during an MOT test to report that to the vehicle owner and adhere to the fleet policy. Communication is critical to comply with both the MOT and Road Traffic Act rules as well as individual fleet policies.

 “We will make vehicle owners and maintenance decision makers aware of defects whether ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ or ‘minor’ and empower them to make the decision on authorisation of any repairs. It is worth noting that all ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ and ‘minor’ faults along with any MOT tester additional advisories will be published immediately following the completion of the MOT test on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) website.

 “It is then up to vehicle owners and maintenance decision makers whether the vehicle is allowed to continue to be driven or a repair is undertaken. If a vehicle is driven on the road with a known defect, drivers could be subject to road traffic offences.

 “If a vehicle is presented for its MOT early, the Road Traffic Act would be enforced if there is a noted defect. If the vehicle is driven on the road and is stopped by the police, or is involved in a crash, then the law will intervene.”

 Among a host of other changes to the MOT Inspection Manual, Mr Joyce identified four items as being critical to fleets:

·        Stricter limits for emissions from diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). A vehicle will get a ‘major’ fault and thus result in an MOT failure if the tester can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust or finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.

·        A dashboard warning light defect will result in a ‘major’ defect being flagged up and thus an MOT failure

·        Some changes to braking definitions regarding classification of brake discs

·        Front and rear vehicle fog lights now included within the new MOT.

Mr Joyce concluded: “Communication between the MOT test centre and the vehicle owner/fleet maintenance decision-maker is essential because there is scope for fleet operator confusion with the introduction of the new MOT regime and the defect categories and contradiction with the Road Traffic Act.”

Editor's Notes
The Kwik Fit Group is the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialist in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

Kwik Fit has national UK coverage of more than 600 service centres and 200 mobile tyre fitting vehicles, making it the UK’s leading tyre, exhaust, brake and MOT specialist. 

The Group, which includes Kwik Fit Netherlands, as well as the UK operation, was established in 1971 and is now owned by the Japanese Itochu Corporation.

Kwik Fit Fleet is a major supplier to many of the country’s leading contract hire and leasing companies and outright purchase fleets.

The fast-fit company’s status as the corporate sector’s number one supplier for its comprehensive one-stop shop of fast-fit services is underlined by the fact that it has won more than 80 industry and customer awards in its 30-year history.

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