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MOT appointment problems

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Hope this is of help to someone!
Just wanted to let people know how badly backlogged the MOT testing system is here at the moment.
I am quite organised at booking my mot appointment 3 months out from when it expires but when I went on to book I was finding a lot of the test centres have no appointments at all showing (running up to the end of Feb 24).
I have (finally) got an appointment by going back in and out of the booking system multiple times on multiple different days (maybe just getting lucky with a cancelled or rescheduled booking?) but my appointment is still a month after the mot expires.
I know there is a piece of paper from the PSNI in the mot reminder letter saying that your insurance "should" be valid as long as you have proof of an mot booking and your vehicle is road worthy, but you need to check with your insurer to make sure.
I don't know if all of this means we will be heading in the same direction with how the rest of GB do their mot tests in the future, but I definitely thought the backlog caused by cracks in the lifts and then covid would have eased. Obviously not!
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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 11,161 Forumite
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    Where is this?  OH booked an MOT and was given a date next week with no sense that this was a lucky break. 
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 32,273 Forumite
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    edited 17 September 2023 at 3:07PM
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    Brie said:
    Where is this?  OH booked an MOT and was given a date next week with no sense that this was a lucky break. 
    You are likely not in NI then where MOTs are not done at local garages, where there are several in most towns - I can name 12 in my smallish town without having to think about it, but at dedicated test centres of which there are only 17 in the whole province.  Along with the shortage of test centres there have been technical problems with cracked vehicle lifts which has severely compromised testing schedules.

  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 2,093 Forumite
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    Brie said:
    Where is this?  OH booked an MOT and was given a date next week with no sense that this was a lucky break. 
    Probably in Northern Ireland, as per the section of the forum it was posted in 😉
  • skycatcher
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    snowmen said:
    Hope this is of help to someone!
    Just wanted to let people know how badly backlogged the MOT testing system is here at the moment.
    I am quite organised at booking my mot appointment 3 months out from when it expires but when I went on to book I was finding a lot of the test centres have no appointments at all showing (running up to the end of Feb 24).
    I have (finally) got an appointment by going back in and out of the booking system multiple times on multiple different days (maybe just getting lucky with a cancelled or rescheduled booking?) but my appointment is still a month after the mot expires.
    I know there is a piece of paper from the PSNI in the mot reminder letter saying that your insurance "should" be valid as long as you have proof of an mot booking and your vehicle is road worthy, but you need to check with your insurer to make sure.
    I don't know if all of this means we will be heading in the same direction with how the rest of GB do their mot tests in the future, but I definitely thought the backlog caused by cracks in the lifts and then covid would have eased. Obviously not!
    Plus the pending price increase has caused an additional load as people are booking early to avoid the rise. 
  • qwert_yuiop
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    It’s a lot less structured in England (or was, anyway). I once took a motorbike to be tested in London. The man emerged no more than 5 minutes later with a pass certificate. I heard no horn, and there wasn’t enough time to carry out anything more than the most cursory inspection.
    “What means that trump?” Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 11,161 Forumite
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    Sorry - hadn't clocked that there was a NI board!!
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Money_Grabber13579
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    Yes, most appointments, if booked today, are running at late January/early February 2024 but if you keep on refreshing the page, you will find cancellations and extra appointments, usually for same day or next day. You have to be a bit flexible in where you go and quick to make the booking when an appointment appears but no need to keep going out of the system (during busy times, this will throw you back into the queue again).
    Northern Ireland club member No 382 :j
  • snowmen
    snowmen Posts: 642 Forumite
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    Yes, most appointments, if booked today, are running at late January/early February 2024 but if you keep on refreshing the page, you will find cancellations and extra appointments, usually for same day or next day. You have to be a bit flexible in where you go and quick to make the booking when an appointment appears but no need to keep going out of the system (during busy times, this will throw you back into the queue again).
    Yes you are right.
    The whole new queueing thing threw me a bit too!

    Skycatcher - totally agree. Lots of people trying to book by the 1st October to avoid the pending price increase.

    All a bit of a shock to the system!
  • RikM
    RikM Posts: 811 Forumite
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    My last MOT was back in June, and it was the same then - book at any available test centre, then keep checking back in for a date/centre that actually works. It's not a great system...
  • belfastgirl23
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    I do wonder what the environmental impact is of so many people having to drive to test centres miles away from where they live. When I booked at the end of August the soonest appointment was in mid-January in Armagh. I live in Belfast. Nothing at all coming up for Belfast or surrounding areas. Last year I ended up in Omagh. I’ve heard of people getting cancellations in Newtownards but it takes sitting on the booking system to manage that. 

    I did book it into my garage to get the MOT check at the time the MOT was due and my garage man said it is covered for insurance. At least I can show that I have done my bit by getting it inspected by a registered mechanic. 
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