Motorists Offered Text Service to Avoid Fine

Motorhome owners in Suffolk are being invited to sign up for a new motoring service provided by a government agency that may well save them money.

The initiative has been instigated by Suffolk Police after a noticeable rise in motorists picking up fixed penalty fines for not having renewed their MOT certificate. A spokesman for the police force said: “We are increasingly finding ourselves handing out fixed penalty notices for drivers without a valid MOT certificate and in most cases it is simply because the owners of the vehicles have forgotten to book in for a renewal. It is completely unnecessary and we are pointing them in the direction of VOSA.”

VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) is a government backed agency responsible for ensuring vehicles using the public roads of the UK are in safe working order, and in response to the number of people forgetting to renew their MOT are now offering a text reminder service. The service works very similar to a motorhome insurance reminder sent out by insurance providers, but instead of a postal reminder the VOSA message is sent to a mobile phone. For a fee of £1.50 any vehicle owner can register their vehicle for the service via the government website.

The vehicle owner will then get a reminder five weeks prior to renewal, another one a fortnight before the due date and finally a message just 24 hours before the vehicles certificate is out of date. The cost of a fixed penalty fine for driving without a valid certificate is £60 but it is also the inconvenience of taking the vehicle off the road until an MOT test is arranged that can cause many motorists the biggest problems. Of course the safety aspect cannot be ignored. The tests were introduced to ensure vehicles are roadworthy at all times and the test is designed to highlight any potential safety issues.