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MOT Changes for Northern Ireland Motorists

From today, 1st May 2012, all vehicles going through the MOT process will receive over 20 additional checks. The changes relate primarily to electronic systems within vehicles such as dashboard information lights, electrical socket for trailers, ABS, and tyre pressure monitoring systems. The introduction follows a consultation process and is designed to bring the MOT procedures up to date.

Concerns have been expressed that smaller garages may not have the electronic diagnostic equipment necessary to conduct the new test. However, Bernard McClure, director of vehicle policy at the Driver Vehicle Agency, said diagnostic equipment should already be in place in order to maintain modern cars.

Commenting on the changes, Gary Adair, a solicitor specialising in motoring offences, stated:

“The MOT in Northern Ireland was already one of the most stringent within the UK and Europe. Drivers and motoring groups are naturally concerned that the new tests will lead to increased costs in preparing a car for MOT and increased number of cars failing the test.

“Once a vehicle is four years old it must be put through the MOT test every year. Driving without a valid MOT vehicle test certificate is a road traffic offence. Alone the offence carries a fine of £60 if dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice or up to £1,000 if the case goes to Court. However, driving without an MOT is often accompanied by other motoring offences such as driving without a tax disk or driving without insurance. Serious offences can result in the driver incurring penalty points or the loss of their licence completely.”

If you have received a summons in relation to a motoring offence in Northern Ireland Wilson Nesbitt’s expert motoring solicitors can provide advice and representation. To contact one of our motoring solicitors please call us on freephone 0800 8400549 or via email at

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