First introduced in France in 1991, roadworthiness testing (known as MOT testing in the UK) is a public service delegated by the Ministry of Ecology, Energy and Territories. In France, roadworthiness tests assess the mechanical condition of every car, van and HGV in the fleet, and are carried out exclusively in premises that are separate from the car servicing sector, to ensure that the results of mandatory tests are impartial and not used for commercial purposes.
There are almost 6,700 roadworthiness testing centres in France, with a total of 11,500 employees (source: ANFA). They carried out 25.56 million roadworthiness tests on passenger cars and light vehicles in 2022 (source: Ministry of Ecology).
The testing specifications change regularly. The latest reform dates from 2021, with the precise measurement of the opacity of diesel engine fumes.
Roadworthiness tests for powered two and three-wheelers are expected to be introduced in France in 2024.