Cars to get extra year MOT-free under Government plans
Cars to get extra year MOT-free under Government plans Cars to get extra year MOT-free under Government plans
New proposals could extend the period before a new car or motorbike requires its first MOT test from three to four years.
In a move which the Government says would save motorists more than £100 million a year, it is consulting on whether to bring the rest of the UK in line with Northern Ireland, where the longer exemption is already in place.
Many other European countries, including France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Norway, also already operate a four-year window before new vehicles are required to undergo their equivalent of the MOT roadworthiness test.
Safer cars The Government said that the proposal reflected the fact modern cars are safer and better built than in the past but motoring groups have warned it could lead to more unroadworthy cars on the roads.
In the last 10 years, the number of three or four-year-old cars involved in accidents where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor has fallen by almost two thirds, from 155 in 2006 to 57 in 2015.
Announcing the consultation, Transport Secretary Andrew Jones said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world and MOT tests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles on our roads. “New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago and so it is only right we bring the MOT test up to date to help save motorists money where we can.” The MOT was introduced in 1960 to ensure the roadworthiness of cars more than 10 years old.
In 1967 the 10-year exemption was reduced to three years and since then all vehicles have been required to undergo the test once they reach three years old. Currently more than 2.2m cars annually undergo their first MOT test, which checks key areas of a car including seatbelts, brakes, tyres, lighting, emissions and body structure to ensure they are safe to be on the road.
The news of the proposed changes and the £54.85 saving they would bring offers a potential, if slight, piece of good news for motorists in the face of rising fuel prices and a new tax regime set to punish more than two-thirds of new car buyers.
Road Safety charity Tyresafe warned that the change could lead to more dangerously worn tyres on the road Cautious welcome The proposals have been given a cautious welcome by motoring
RAC chief engineer David Bizley said:
“We are generally supportive of the idea of changing the requirement, but we do have some concerns about high mileage vehicles. “For example, it is perfectly possible for a high mileage vehicle at three years old to have done in the region of 100,000 miles which would make an MOT entirely appropriate.
However, the situation with an average mileage vehicle would be very different as, at four years old, it may only have around 40,000 miles on the clock. The high mileage vehicle, on the other hand, may have added another 30,000 miles which in our opinion would be far too many before its first MOT.
In an ideal world, we should like to see a two-tier system which states that an MOT must be carried out at four years or as soon as it reaches a threshold mileage of maybe 50,000 or 60,000.” AA president Edmund King also welcomed the potential savings while warning it was likely that more vehicles with faulty lights and tyres would “slip through the net”. However, safety charity Tyresafe warned that the extension would see more cars with unsafe components being left on the road.
Its chairman Stuart Jackson cautioned:
“Evidence [shows] one in 20 vehicles fails its first MOT due to tyre defects, making it likely that any extension of time until the first MOT test will result in more defective and dangerous tyres and vehicles on our roads.
“Extending the first MOT to four years will not be a boost to motorists if it is at the expense of their safety.”