Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Fifth Report


Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions


  1. At its meeting on 27th June 2000, the Committee requested a Memorandum about this instrument on the following point:

  "Given the many amendments to the principal Regulations of 1981, indicate when a consolidation may be expected."

  2. The principal Regulations of 1981 make provision for certain motor vehicles to be examined by persons authorised by the Secretary of State and for test certificates to be issued for vehicles that are found to meet certain requirements. This is commonly known as the MOT Testing Scheme and it is administered by the Vehicle Inspectorate which is an executive agency of the Department.

  3. Not only is there a comprehensive administrative structure which supports the Regulations but also the large number of amendments belies the fact that a great many of them have only dealt with periodic changes in fees.

  4. The Department is not aware that the current state of the 1981 Regulations is causing any difficulty in practice. Even so the Department has for some time been conscious of the fact that the Regulations are becoming unwieldy.

  5. During the Parliamentary stages of what is now the Road Traffic (Vehicle Testing) Act 1999 reference was made to the MOT computerisation project being undertaken by the Vehicle Inspectorate. Although the 1999 Act is not effectively in force yet the project is underway and will in due course necessitate further amendments to the 1981 Regulations.

  6. As the implementation of computerisation will result in fundamental changes to the way in which the MOT Testing Scheme will be conducted, the Department consider that this would be an appropriate point to consolidate the 1981 Regulations.

  7. The Department anticipates that it should be in a position to consolidate the 1981 Regulations in conjunction with the roll-out of MOT computerisation but hopes that in the meantime the Committee will accept the need for several further amendments to be made to the Regulations as they now stand.

3rd July 2000

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