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NI MOT lift crisis could cost millions

It has been revealed that it could take months and cost up to $2.2 million to have all the faulty lifts at MOT centres in Northern Ireland back operational again.

A NI-wide inspection last November discovered signs of cracking in 48 of the 55 vehicle lifts across the Driver and Vehicle Agency’s (DVA) 15 centres.

All MOT testing for cars and light vehicles in Northern Ireland was subsequently suspended with immediate effect.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme, Paul Duffy, the DVA chief executive said replacements and repairs would not come cheap.

Paul Duffy

“We are looking at all options, there is a possibility they may need to be replaced. It would cost probably between £30,000 to £40,000 per lift, but we will need to go through some commercial discussions around that.”

If all 55 vehicle lifts had to be replaced at a cost of £40k each, this would amount to £2.2 million.

Mr Duffy added that he does not know an exact time as to when the lifts will be replaced, but could not rule out the possibility of it “taking months”.

“Those are the issues we’re grappling with today,” Mr Duffy said. “There is likely to be a lead-in time where lifts would have to be manufactured and then installed.”

All customers who have had tests cancelled have been issued a four-month exemption so they can continue to drive. This does not apply to four-year-old vehicles and taxis.

Tests on heavy goods vehicles and buses will continue to go ahead.