Public sector vehicle owners caught between two stools says Lowry

Noel Dundon


Noel Dundon



Small public sector vehicle owners are suffering

Those who purchased brand new vehicles before the shutdown are at a real disadvantage

Small Public Service Vehicle owners, such as taxi, hackney, small bus and limousine operators, have found themselves in a unique situation as a result of the Covid-19 Lockdown says Deputy Michael Lowry.

If they purchased a brand new vehicle (201 reg) and had it registered and delivered to them immediately prior to or in the early stages of Lockdown restrictions, they were unable to complete the required Suitability Inspection and Licencing process. And, in many cases these SPSV operators have now been in possession of their new vehicles for three months and, if a vehicle is older than three months, it must be submitted for an NCT under NTA Rules to licence a vehicle as a SPSV.

Therefore, in essence, a brand new vehicle is required to undergo an NCT simply because it was impossible to complete the initial standard process due to the Lockdown.

Deputy Lowry agrees with SPSV operators that this anomaly could be solved very simply if common sense prevailed and, in the case where an SPSV Operator is the first owner and has registered a new car in 2020 on any date on or before May 31 2020, that the NTA exempt it from NCT due to the exceptional circumstances of the time. The vehicle must be submitted for a Suitability Inspection only, as per the original rules for all brand new SPCV vehicles.

“At present there is a four week waiting list for NCT, followed by a further four week waiting list for the Suitability Inspection. This means it could be mid-August before an operator in this situation gets their vehicle licenced and operational, which is compounding the losses already sustained in 2020,” says Deputy Lowry.

Operators are concerned that they will be viewed as being in breach of their contracts and are seeking action as a matter of urgency.