United Kingdom MOT testers daunted by the introduction of computerisation have nothing to fear, according to the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI).

Ian Davis-Knight, the RMI’s MOT specialist on the annual mechanical inspection compulsory for vehicles from three years old, has reassured testers worried by the introduction of computerisation and the associated timescale and sheer volume of the launch.

From early 2004 all 19,000 MOT testing stations will be provided with PCs, monitors, and printers, connected to a central database of vehicle information, test results and details of authorised examiners and testers. Access to the system will be for authorised users via electronic smart cards and passwords.

The roll-out is expected to take six months to complete.

Davis-Knight said: “I have observed the trials of the computer equipment, and everything seems to be going well. Computerisation is taking place as a collaborative effort between VOSA and the MOT sector, and I have been there every step of the way.”

The process is far from over, the spokesman said, adding: “The software is still being developed, and it will then need to be comprehensively tested. Once this has been completed to the satisfaction of both VOSA and the MOT sector itself, the new equipment will be rolled out to all testing stations.”