Northern Ireland MoT tests hit record high despite appointment backlog
The number of MoT tests carried out in Northern Ireland has increased 10% in the last year, despite a backlog in appointments, according to new figures.
Statistics from the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) show that, from July to September this year, just over 290,000 tests were carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) - the largest quarterly figure on record.
During the same period, the DVA received more than 273,000 applications for tests - a decrease of 4.1% from last year.
The pass rate for full vehicle tests was 81.8%, a slight increase on the second quarter of 2018 and the highest ever second quarter pass rate on record.
The 10% increase in MoT tests comes despite drivers facing long waits for appointments earlier this year.
In July, some drivers had to wait 52 days for a test. This figure fell to 29 days in October.
While many had to wait more than a month for an appointment, DfI said more than 5,000 people failed to turn up for scheduled tests from August to September.
A total of 2,549 appointments were missed in August, while 2,708 were missed in September.
The cost of an MoT test is £30.50, while a retest costs £18.50. This means that motorists spent almost £158,000 on tests they didn't attend.
Speaking at the time, former Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said the number of people not turning up for MoTs was "absolutely crazy" and called for an analysis of the "deeply worrying" figures.
"It's fair to say that the number of people who aren't bringing their vehicles for appointments is shocking," he said.
"It does have an impact on waiting times for MoT tests."
Meanwhile, 18,200 theory tests and 15,100 practical tests were carried out from July to September.
The pass rate for theory tests was 45.8%, while the pass rate for practical tests was 59.2%.
From April to June this year, 16,800 new vehicles were registered in Northern Ireland, an increase of almost 1% from the previous year.
The most popular make of private car was Ford, accounting for 12% of all new vehicles. Grey was the most popular colour at 21% and 58% of all newly registered vehicles had petrol engines.
Belfast Telegraph Digital