Garages ‘need clarity before investing in MOT-style testing’

MOST GARAGES would be happy to invest in MOT-style testing equipment, but they need clearer and more precise information on what the States is looking for first, a spokesperson has said.

Robert Cornelius, president of the GMTA. (28697711)
Robert Cornelius, president of the GMTA. (28697711)

Guernsey Motor Trade Association president Robert Cornelius has previously given advice to the States about how the industry could enable an MOT-style vehicle inspection service on the island.

While he believed that it was too much of an undertaking for one garage to offer all of the inspection checks, he said most garages on the island would be more than happy to complete checks in line with how the UK is doing it.

‘This would benefit the States of Guernsey as they would not have to find any new premises, and there’s more than enough of a skilled workforce on the island to complete that without having to go out and look for additional staff,’ Mr Cornelius said.

‘But for one garage to have every vehicle inspection on the island going through them would require a huge amount of investment and space and would not be possible for any garage as it currently stands.’

Instead, he thought the best option would be for garages to apply for an accreditation to be able to carry out the safety inspections.

‘That way customers wouldn’t be forced to go elsewhere, and MOT-style checks could be bolted onto the back of an annual service,’ he said. ‘The feedback I’ve had from customers is that they want to be able to go to one location and have all their services and checks done at once.’

A significant investment to purchase necessary equipment would need to be made by any garage, and the cost of installation would vary depending on the existing facility, making it very difficult to estimate how much investment would be needed by a standard garage to facilitate these tests.

‘If the garages completed the checks, it means all the States would have to do is administer the scheme – they’ve already said they want it to be a cost-neutral programme,’ Mr Cornelius explained.

What he could not understand was why the States decided on a delay of at least six months following Covid.

‘Waiting to go out to tender is just delaying the process.

‘Bolting onto a service an MOT-style inspection is not going to create a massive problem for the industry, and if the first wave of vehicle travelling internationally in Europe need to have these checks in place by March 2021, the States needs to give the relevant company enough time to get sorted.’

The requirement for domestic usage vehicles plan was initially due to come in by March 2023, but this would be the biggest volume of vehicles.

Mr Cornelius wanted further clarification from the States about why the delay of six months was necessary and what exactly the tender process will be looking for.

The Guernsey Press has posed these questions to the States.

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