MOT Connectivity: Time for an equipment upgrade

By Debbie Dunbar, Marketing Manager at Crypton |

Published:  31 March, 2020

The last 18 months have seen several changes to MOT rules come into force across the UK, affecting both brakes and emissions. There is more to come however, and guidance issued by the DVSA at the end of 2019 signalled the introduction of further changes affecting the use of connected equipment in 2020. 
The requirement to use connectable roller brake testers was introduced on 1 October 2019 and decelerometers followed suit on 1 February 2020. To comply with the new rules, garages and MOT centres making a new site application or replacing old equipment, are required to buy connected products capable of connecting to the MOT testing service. The DVSA has also announced its intention to add diesel smoke meters, exhaust gas analysers and headlamp beam aligners to the list later this year.
Connected equipment could bring a number of benefits for garages and MOT centres. Unlike the current manual input system, connected equipment allows results to be automatically transferred as the MOT test takes place, saving time, increasing data accuracy and helping to reduce the risk of fraud. Furthermore, the data collected will allow the DVSA to spot any trends and patterns, which may require further investigation.
It is expected that all MOT tools and equipment will become increasingly connected in the future. With this in mind, garages and MOT centres should purchase products that offer this capability, in order to future-proof their MOT bays. While purchasing new equipment will undoubtedly raise financial concerns for some operators, they should regard such equipment as a long-term investment which will improve efficiency and deliver returns over time. Buying low-value alternatives is a false economy and could result in downtime due to equipment failure. While high-quality equipment provided by market-leading brands typically comes with after-sales support, including upgrades and retrofitting options.
Before purchasing new equipment there are several factors to consider and connectivity is increasingly important. To assist them in making the right choice, garages and MOT centres should select a product given on the DVSA’s approved equipment list or one that can be upgraded as and when necessary. They should also consider that further rule changes to increase connectivity are likely to be introduced in the future. Choosing easily compatible products that can be linked through the same software and controlled from just one station will result in a far simpler solution and a reduced chance of installation issues. 
Where possible, garages should also look for equipment that can perform more than one function, for instance, MOT bays that also offer wheel alignment. Dual revenue options unlock a host of other business opportunities and ensure that equipment can be used its full potential, even in quieter times.
Ultimately, growing use of connected equipment is likely to become a differentiator for garages and MOT centres in the year ahead. Those that decide to embrace automation can expect to benefit from faster MOT test times, improved customer service and less downtime due to faults or errors.

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