MOT backlog means cars fall foul of DVLA tax rules

By Matthew Leslie

A Fermanagh councillor has hit out at both the DVLA and the DVA for “a lack of co-operation” over the MOT backlog that has a number of drivers having to take their cars off the road.

Cllr Paul Blake, who represents the Enniskillen ward, was speaking after it was revealed that motorists were being hit with £80 fines for ‘non-tax compliance’.


In the North, drivers must have a valid MOT certificate in order pay for road tax – which can be obtained by booking a test with the DVA.

However, the long waiting times for MOT tests have seen the road tax – administered by the DVLA in Wales – for waiting motorists expire. This means that they must declare their vehicle as being off the road with a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) declaration.

However, those who need their vehicle for work purposes have chanced their arm by continuing to use their car with those being caught out being fined.

Cllr Blake says that drivers who are reliant on their vehicles to earn a living are faced with a “catch-22 situation” and that the MOT backlog/road tax situation “should have been dealt with long before now”.

He said: “I’ve a lot of sympathy for drivers who are in this situation. It’s an awful situation for them to be in and there seems to be a lack of co-operation going on between the various agencies that are involved in this.

“There should be more co-operation because a lot of people are having to wait three or four months for an MOT so if they can’t get that, they can’t tax it either.

“If drivers can’t use their car then they can’t go to work – especially those who are reliant on their cars. If they can’t go to work then they can’t earn money that would then be paying for the things that need to be done, such as MOT tests and road tax.


“So it really is a catch-22 situation that the DVLA and DVA are putting people into. It’s an absolutely shocking situation that should have been dealt with long before now.

“You’re putting people into a very difficult position by making them leave their cars at home – more so given the lack of public transport in this country. It’s an appalling situation.”

While completed tests at the MOT testing centre in Enniskillen have been completed – DVA figures for May 2022 show 3949 completed tests compared to 1856 back in July 2021 – Cllr Blake says “a lack of governance from above” is not helping those at the centre who are working hard to reduce the MOT test waiting list.

To read more on this story see this week’s Fermanagh Herald. Can’t get to the shop to collect your copy? No problem! You can download a copy straight to your device by following this link


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