Belfast Telegraph

MoT centres to open for Sunday appointments in bid to tackle waiting times

A number of MoT centres in Northern Ireland are to begin accepting appointments on Sundays in order to shorten waiting times for drivers.

Many motorists have found themselves unable to secure an appointment until after the expiration of their current MoTs.

The Sunday tests are part of measures being taken by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) to deal with the problem.

More vehicle examiners have been recruited and earlier reminder letters are being sent to drivers.

The Sunday tests will be available from Sunday June 16, with the locations of the test centres accepting Sunday appointments being revealed on Friday by the DVA.

The Department of Infrastructure is said to be considering introducing temporary exemptions for motorists who cannot get an appointment before their MoT lapses.

However, at present, anyone driving without a valid MoT is breaking the law.

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A spokesperson for the DVA told the BBC that customers are advised to book their tests online as soon as they receive a reminder notice, which is now being sent out nine weeks before the current certificate expires.

"As waiting times vary between test centres, booking an MoT as early as possible means that customers have a wider range of locations, dates and times to choose from," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that in the 2018/19 period, 32,000 drivers failed to attend their MoT appointments, which puts "additional strain on the system".

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