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Unsafe van operators should foot MoT enforcement bill, says FTA

By / 8 months ago / News / No Comments

Van fleets operating dangerous or unroadworthy vans should be liable for the cost of enforcement, not the whole fleet sector.

Van up on ramp

Nearly half (46.8% of vans) fail their MoT test at the first time of presenting.

That’s the response from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) in response to the Department for Transport’s recent consultation on changes to the MoT.

Under the consultation, the DfT and DVSA are looking at options including extending the MoT deadline to four years for cars as well as possibly vans and has also recommended that the funding of enforcement against unsafe vans out on the roads should be transferred from a grant paid for by taxpayers to a fee charged to van operators on top of the MoT fee.

In response, FTA members have lent support to the move to charge the industry but called for the ‘enforcement levy’ to only apply to operators’ vehicles that did not pass their MoT at the first attempt.

“FTA members who operate vans maintain their vehicles properly and many expect nothing less than a 100% first time pass rate at MoT,” says James Firth, FTA’s head of licensing policy and compliance information. “The proposed switch of funding to the sector is undoubtedly the right move from the point of view of holding operators to account for their vehicles.  However, many of our members are frustrated that, while they are investing in maintaining their fleets in a roadworthy condition, their competitors know that, in the absence of effective enforcement, they can run their vehicles in a poorly maintained, dangerous state.

With 46.8% of vans failing their MOT test at the first time of presenting, the FTA also said that the new enforcement levy could help ensure regular maintenance programmes are upheld across the industry.

Firth added: “By ensuring that the enforcement levy falls on those requiring a retest, FTA is confident this would be an additional financial incentive for all van operators to maintain standards and strive for a first-time pass, every time.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.