Testing at the new Speedfit vehicle testing centre in Umm Ramool will take around 25 minutes from beginning to end. Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Getting the annual vehicle fitness test done will soon be a hassle-free exercise as Dubai will have more than a hundred vehicle testing lanes by the end of next year, up from the current 76 lanes. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has embarked on a plan to expand its reach across the city, a senior official said.

RTA works with nine partner organisations that have 22 centres all over Dubai, including a new centre that opened in Umm Ramool on Sunday. Work is under progress to open two more centres by the end of this year, which will take the total lane capacity to 86. According to the RTA, Dubai has around 1.3 million registered vehicles and every vehicle has to undergo a technical fitness test to ensure its road worthiness.

“There is a constant increase in the number of vehicles, which we need to serve without causing much inconvenience to the motorists. We have set up a plan for future development to expand our services with the growing demand. Last year we opened the Quick Registration Centre and now we have added to our capacity by opening the 22nd vehicle testing centre in Dubai,” said Ahmad Hashem Behroozian, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agency, after inaugurating SpeedFit Vehicle Testing Centre.

SpeedFit, which is part of Al Habtoor Group, can provide testing facilities for 60 vehicles per day through two lanes and will double its capacity by July this year.

“We have a capacity to test 6,000 vehicles per day at the existing centres and, by the end of next year, we aim to almost double the number. We are looking to reach out to areas where we don’t have a presence right now and where there is growing population. Our challenge is to find appropriate land at convenient locations,” added Behroozian.

RTA last month extended the timings of four testing centres to 24 hours and is also encouraging the setting up of electronic kiosks at the registration centres to allow people to serve themselves.

“We are focusing on shifting the traffic away from counters at registration centres. Since we have 24-hour registration facilities through the web and phone, we are encouraging our partners to set up self-serving kiosks. Currently, only 10 per cent of transactions are being done online or through the phone and by the end of this year, when we will launch a mobile platform for registration, we expect the share to double,” said Behroozian.

Last year, RTA also unified the testing systems across the board and instructed all the partners to upgrade their testing equipment to the same standards.

Neil Coolidge, General Manager of SpeedFit Vehicle Testing Centre, said the facility is equipped with the latest testing technology.

“Our primary focus is to reduce waiting time for people and with the technology we have we can offer one of the quickest test experiences around. The actual testing would take around 10 minutes and the entire process from beginning to end takes around 25 minutes,” said Coolidge.

The centre also offers an online appointment booking facility and works between 7am and 10pm