I’ve been reading quite a bit about “Caravan MOT’s” lately and I want to know what you think. In this post I will give a general summary of the plans that are being proposed and finish by weighing up the pro’s and con’s of introducing MOT style testing to the caravan industry.
There is a poll at the bottom for you to have your say, but before you make up your mind please read the post below in full.
What are the plans?
The idea of MOT style testing for caravans has been a thing of discussion for quite some time between the powers that be. To date, nothing definitive has been concluded as to whether or not caravan MOT’s should be introduced. With that being said, the EU have proposed plans to introduce a caravan road worthiness test within the next few years. The UK government is opposed to the plans and are attempting to resist the plans coming in to force.
According to the supporters of the proposal, the plans are part of a “tougher vehicle testing regime” which will aim to make the roads safer with standardised testing for all vehicles.
The plans would affect caravans weighing more than 750kg, the number of caravans that fall under this umbrella is estimated to be some 500,000 tourers in the UK alone.
The cost of introducing Caravan MOTs
Last year, the government estimated the cost of introducing such regular checks in the UK to be in excess of £230,000,000. This would mean the creation of a whole new department to monitor and regulate, and probably some kind of compulsory registration scheme for touring caravans.
Is caravan servicing not enough?
Presently, it is not required by law that caravans undergo any kind of safety check, although both well respected caravan organisations like The Caravan Club and manufacturers recommend an annual service to be undertaken on touring caravans. The road worthiness of a tourer is checked during most services. You can find out more about caravan servicing in an article I wrote here.
What does the industry have to say?
The Caravan Club are also opposed to the plans for compulsory testing, they say that there are no clear goals that outweigh the cost of introducing such a scheme. They also went on to say that it would likely have a negative impact on the uptake of caravanning and other associated tourism within the UK, this would in turn have a knock-on effect to the economy.
What are the pro’s and con’s of such a move?
Now I like to consider both sides of any argument before making a decision on where I stand, so below I have made a list of pro’s and con’s of introducing Caravan MOT’s:
|Regular road worthiness checks on touring caravans would certainly make the roads a safer place by removing a lot of older "unsafe" caravans||Compulsory regular testing would increase the cost of owning a caravan which could put people off taking it up
|It could potentially be a good boost to the caravan trade by generating more spend with dealerships||It could have an adverse affect on the economy by less people buying caravans due to the increased costs, associated tourism would also be affected by any decrease is caravanning
|Creates the potential for a whole new industry to be created as testing centres will have to be introduced too, although this would likely be down to caravan service centres to adopt||It would be extremely costly to the tax payer to introduce and to continue to run thereafter
|More money being spent by caravanners on required testing may help to boost the economy in the UK||As I mentioned above, a whole new nationwide registration scheme would be needed to register and identify touring caravans, this would again cost money to maintain
My personal opinion is that although I agree that it would help to make the roads safer, I don’t think that the cost to the country and the additional running costs this would mean for caravan owners can justify the moves. Many caravan owners are also family people and take their children or grandchildren along with them. Having been involved in the caravan industry for many years I know that caravan owners are far more inclined to have their caravan serviced for the peace of mind while travelling on the road their families on board. I don’t think that compulsory regular checks are the answer, but I would like to see perhaps more education for caravanners on the benefits of having your caravan serviced, focussing primarily on road safety (perhaps that is something for me to tackle on the blog in the future).
I think we are more likely to see the introduction of a caravan road tax within the next few years. But who knows? Anything could happen!
Now over to you – I’d like to know what you think about the EU’s plans to introduce MOT style testing. Please submit your opinion in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.