From 1 March 2021, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is clamping down on MOT stations that aren’t using connected equipment.
And while the rules have been in place for some time, there are still plenty of workshops that haven’t caught up to the regulations.
So to help you get ready (and make some timely upgrades), we’ve put together this quick guide to give you everything you need to know about connected equipment – and exactly what you need to do next.
What is ‘connected equipment’?
Connected equipment gives you the ability to feed data directly into the DVSA database from the equipment you use in your workshop – without the need for manual entry.
It’s already being used in MOT stations to send some of the test results from their car MOTs, with the DVSA planning to expand this connectivity to other pieces of equipment in the future.
Do I have to use connected equipment?
Back in 2019, the DVSA rolled out a new legal requirement for MOT centres:
From October 1, 2019, any new or replacement roller brake testers (RBTs) must be connected-ready – able to link up to the MOT testing service and automatically transfer the results of a test.
So who does that apply to?
You’ll need to think about connected equipment if you’re:
- Buying new roller brake testers
- Replacing old roller brake testers
- Adding a new test lane that includes a roller brake tester.
- Opening (or re-opening) an MOT test centre
- Or changing the ownership of an MOT test centre
If that sounds like old news to you – and you’ve already got your RBTs connected to the service – then you’re already compliant, and you’ve got nothing to worry about (for now!).
What if my BRAKE TESTER ISn’t connected?
If the roller brake tester in your workshop aren’t connected to the DVSA’s database (or you’re not using the connected function), we’ve got some bad news for you:
From 1 March 2021, the DVSA will be stopping MOT stations that haven’t met their legal requirements to have connected RBTs.
At the moment, it looks like they’ll be focusing on workshops that have repeatedly ignored warnings, or those that haven’t confirmed their order status.
But with this deadline behind us, it’s only a matter of time before the DVSA starts to turn their focus onto every workshop that’s not compliant.
And if that sounds like your business, it’s time to start upgrading or replacing – to get the connected RBTs you need to stay in line with the newly enforced rules.
What kind of equipment does it apply to?
The DVSA currently only has a legal requirement in place for connected roller brake testers.
But they are planning to introduce new pieces of equipment after successful trials – and that means we can expect to see new rules around connected equipment as they expand the service.
In the future, we’re likely to see legal requirements around:
- Emission gas analysers
- Diesel smoke meters
- And headlamp beam testers.
What does that mean for investing in new equipment?
If you’re buying or replacing any roller brake testers for your workshop, you’ll need to choose a model that’s ready to connect to the DVSA’s service.
And if you’re planning any upgrades to the other pieces of equipment listed above, you’ll need to do the same if you want to future-proof your MOT station and make sure you’re not buying twice further down the line.
But it’s not just about ticking boxes and staying compliant. Investing in connected equipment can help you to:
- Deliver more accurate tests – without the human error that comes with entering data manually
- Save time on each test – with instant recordings of the results that don’t need to be noted or entered in multiple places
- And improve your credibility – with documented proof that a genuine test has actually taken place with each result.
Looking for connected-ready workshop equipment?
With the DVSA already investigating MOT stations that aren’t connected, the clock is ticking for any business that’s not already compliant with the new rules.
October 2019 legal requirements – Gov.uk
Plans to introduce new equipment (emission gas analysers, etc.) – Gov.uk
Benefits of using connected equipment – ‘Matters of Testing’ Gov.uk blog