C. Designated Councils, taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
C1 Designated Councils
1. MOT testing may also be carried out by Designated Councils (DC). Their legal position, and that of the ‘inspectors’ who carry out tests on their behalf, is similar to that of AEs and Testers. For all practical purposes, DCs and their `inspectors' are treated as if they were AEs and Testers respectively. Applications for ‘Designation’ will be considered in the same way as those for AEs, see Section B1 paragraph 7. DCs are required to have appropriate persons attend MOT Managers Courses in the same circumstances as for AEs. Similarly, ‘inspectors’ appointed by DCs are required, in the same way as Testers, to comply fully with all aspects covered in Section E of this Guide.
2. The disciplinary standards applied to errant AEs will also be applied to DCs. DCs must not use any ‘inspectors’ who would not be acceptable as Testers. The disciplinary standards applied to errant Testers will also be applied to ‘inspectors’. Any disciplinary action taken against a Tester will be taken into account in any future case, this includes where persons are subsequently appointed as ‘inspectors’. The reverse also applies.
3. In reading this Guide, any reference to an AE should, unless stated otherwise, be treated as if it also applied to a DC.
4. DC testing must be carried out by staff employed directly by the Council. Council owned companies and providers of contract maintenance to councils who wish to operate testing stations that had previously been directly operated by councils cannot continue to do so as a DC but must apply to become AEs in their own right. Testing as a DC must stop as soon as control is transferred.
C2 Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
1. Taxis and private hire vehicles that are licensed by certain Authorities do not need to have an MOT certificate. This applies only where the Authorities are certified by the Secretary of State as empowered to issue their own exemption certificates. Exemption certificates cannot be issued until the relevant vehicle has been tested by or on behalf of the Authority to standards that at least equal those for MOT tests. When a taxi or private hire vehicle ceases to be licensed, its owner must obtain a normal MOT certificate; the vehicle must not continue to be used on the strength of an exemption certificate, even if not yet expired.
2. Such Authorities may, if they see fit, impose test methods, items or standards that exceed the MOT requirements for these vehicles. DVSA has no involvement in setting these higher standards so any appeal against them has to be dealt with by the Authority, not DVSA.
3 Some of the above Authorities elect to issue a normal MOT certificate in addition to an exemption certificate. In such a case, the vehicle ‘owner’ has the same facility of appeal to DVSA as anyone who has been refused or issued with an MOT certificate. ‘Owners’ must, however, remember that even if the decision to refuse an MOT certificate is reversed, the Authority is under no obligation to issue an exemption certificate or licence for which they are fully entitled to apply standards higher than MOT standards