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Changes are planned to car MOT tests - here's what they could mean for millions of UK drivers

Mirror logo Mirror 6 days ago
Credits: Iconica © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Iconica

New car owners may not have to put their vehicle in for an MOT for four years – if the UK government pushes through new proposals.

The law at the moment requires a car to have its first MOT three years after it was purchased.

But the Department for Transport and DVSA want to extend it by a year – the first change to the rule for 50 years, Daily Post reports.

The move would mean that 2.2 million drivers a year will avoid having to pay for the test.

Credits: OJO Images RF © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: OJO Images RF By extending the first test requirement to four years, the Government expects it will save £100 million every year.

The move, which is now being reviewed, will bring the current UK regulation in line with other countries such as Northern Ireland, France and Italy.

Ministers are now deliberating whether the present three-year rule will remain, whether extending the MOT deadline will apply to all vehicles, or if it will only be applicable to non-commercial vehicles, with vans remaining under the original rule.

The consultation has been met with fierce opposition from industry chiefs, many concerned about the safety implications of the changes.

A number of parts are checked during the MOT test to ensure vehicles meet legal standards, and to identify any potential defects, including lights, seat belts, tyres and brakes. Emission levels are also examined. It is also a legal requirement that the motor is roadworthy, regardless if it passes the test.

Credits: Moment RF © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Moment RF Figures have revealed that almost 17 per cent of cars fail their first MOT, and there are fears that extending the time by an additional year will mean an increase in potentially fatal non-roadworthy vehicles on the road and a rise in road accidents.

A study by TyreSafe and the Highways Agency found that over 85,000 first MOT failures are down to tyres, and that millions of motorists only replace their tyres to make sure their car gets through the test.

It is also expected that the UK’s 22,000 garages will likely incur a loss in income from the move, meaning a threat to jobs in the industry.

However, poll of 19,000 AA members found that 44 per cent were in favour of the proposal, with 26 per cent opposing.

Transport Minister 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 DVSA cites figures showing the annual number of three and four-year-old cars involved in accidents where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor has fallen rapidly from 155 in 2006 to 57 in 2015. This is being attributed to improved manufacturing methods and progress in safety technology.

AA president Edmund King said: “The benefits are that there will be cost and time savings for drivers, whilst the downside is that we are likely to see some more cars with faulty tyres and lights slipping through the net.”

The outcome of the consultation is expected in 2018.

The Government are also considering the cost of current MOT tests, with a review on fees expected later this year.

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