asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied that private garages are carrying out MOT tests adequately; what criticisms of the validity of private garages' testing he has received; and if he will monitor this.
With about 16,000 authorised testing stations carrying out some 14½ million tests annually, there are inevitably some variations in standards. We make every effort to ensure that garages are aware of their responsibilities and I have no reason to believe that the great majority of tests are not carried out competently.Criticisms come usually from individuals and relate to the standard of testing; they are usually directed to particular garages and arise from particular tests on vehicles. We investigate every criticism, so far as it is practicable to do so and take whatever action proves to be necessary.Apart from the detailed checks which precede authorisation, my officials monitor standards in four ways: by visiting testing stations; by carrying out incognito checks; by checking recently tested vehicles; and by following up complaints wherever this is possible. They will continue to monitor the scheme in these ways.