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29 May 2013

Additional MOT testing could cost small businesses thousands, says FSB

Reference number: PR 2013 26

FSB News Release
PR 2013 26

Issue date: Wednesday 29 May 2013
Mounting pressure from the EU to enforce additional MOT testing could cost small businesses thousands says FSB
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on MEPs to oppose European Commission proposals to introduce a regular MOT test for light trailers and agricultural tractors. The Transport Committee will meet in Brussels tomorrow (Thursday 30 May 2013).
Under the Commission proposals, light trailers below 3,500kg and agricultural tractors would need to undergo an MOT test for the first time in the UK. There is no evidence that this would make our roads safer. The FSB believes that introducing regular testing will disproportionately hit small and micro businesses, particularly those in rural areas, impairing their ability to create jobs and growth.
It is estimated there are around 1.25 million light trailers in operation around the UK and a 2009 Department for Transport study found that a national registration scheme could cost £237 million.
The FSB is calling on MEPs to:

• Retain exemptions for light trailers (below 3,500 kg) given the lack of evidence linking them to accidents.
• Retain exemptions for tractors used in agricultural work, distinguished from high-speed vehicles engaged in haulage work.
• Maintain the UK''s current MOT system of repairs and testing in garages.
• Agree that the purpose of a ‘roadworthiness test'' is to check that the vehicle is safe to be used on the roads and meets a certain environmental standard. It is not necessary to test to original manufacturing standards.
• Ensure genuinely historic vehicles can be exempted from testing, if the Member State chooses to do so.

John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
"Despite the best efforts of some of our UK MEPs, it is disappointing that the Commission wants to go ahead with MOT testing for light trailers and agricultural tractors.
"UK law requires regular testing of vehicles to ensure they are in a roadworthy condition and there is no evidence that introducing an MOT for light tractors and agricultural vehicles would improve road safety. Evidence shows that accidents involving trailers are largely caused by inappropriate driving behaviour or how the trailer has been connected, neither of which a test could check.
"We want to see MEPs vote to retain the exemptions for light trailers and for tractors genuinely used in agricultural work when they meet on Thursday."
Notes to editors
1. The FSB is the UK''s leading business organisation with around 200,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the UK''s Real-Life Entrepreneurs, and all those who run their own business. More information is available at
2. The European Parliament''s Transport Committee will vote on the Roadworthiness package at 11am on Thursday 30 May.

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