In order to ensure the continued rights of Islanders to drive in Europe and to circulate Guernsey registered vehicles in Europe after the UK’s Exit from the EU, the States of Guernsey ratified the International Convention on Road Traffic, 1968 (The Vienna Convention). In doing so, the States of Guernsey agreed to introduce a number of road safety related initiatives, including the updating of existing construction and use legislation and the introduction of mandatory periodic technical inspections of motor vehicles on a phased basis.
This action was undertaken as a means of avoiding any unnecessary risk or threat to the current benefits enjoyed by many thousands of islanders who drive abroad each year, irrespective of the eventual outcome of the UK’s Brexit-related withdrawal negotiations.
The States of Guernsey have been talking with representatives of the local motor industry and welcomes tender bids from companies, partnerships or consortiums who feel that they can offer provision of a vehicle testing regime that meets the requirements of the Vienna Convention as stipulated in the ‘Invitation to Tender – Establishment of Periodic Technical Inspections of Motor Vehicles in Guernsey – Outline Proposals’ that has been published on the States of Guernsey e-tender portal.
Bids can cover one or more of the categories of motor vehicles and trailers that need to be inspected and will need to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed operating model and indicate how such testing might be introduced and by when.
While road safety is of paramount concern, given the significant differences in driving conditions and annual mileage covered in Guernsey it was determined, in consultation with the UK Department for Transport, that a less frequent inspection regime could be implemented in Guernsey than was operated in other nearby jurisdictions. Accordingly, the testing of cars and light vans (under 3.5 tonnes) will commence at 5 years old and then every 3 years thereafter, motorcycles at 3 years and then every 2 years thereafter and commercial vehicles (over 3.5 tonnes) annually.
The phased approach to the introduction of this inspection regime were originally outlined
- Phase 1: To commence by 1st April 2019 (introduced in August 2019 but also forms part of this tender), covers the inspection of licensed public service vehicles including taxis, private hire cars, coaches and buses;
- Phase 2: To commence by 1st April 2021, covers inspections for vehicles of a certain age travelling into the EU and for second hand or ‘not new’ vehicles of a certain age being imported into Guernsey.
- Phase 3: To commence by 1st April 2023, covers the inspection of all motor vehicles in domestic (on-island) traffic including motorcycles, initially restricted to those motorcycles over 125cc (or equivalent electric power). All vehicles of the required age for testing will need to have been through the inspection process by 31st March 2025.
The timeline for the introduction of Phases 2 and 3 will need to be adjusted because of the pandemic and this will form part of the discussion with shortlisted bidders.