Government says safer, better built, cars enables it to ease the financial burden on drivers by postponing first MOT.
MOT deferral could save £100 million per-year
The Government has proposed postponing the age cars, vans, and motorcycles require an MOT from three to four years to save motorists £100 million per-annum. This change – that could come into force in 2018 - would bring England, Scotland and Wales in line with Northern Ireland and countries such as France and Norway.
The proposal relates to new, currently unregistered, vehicles rather than any already on the road. It also excludes those that have to be tested after one year. Taxis and ambulances which have up to eight passenger seats, for example. The Government now plans to choose how to proceed from a range of options. These are:
- maintain the status quo;
- for all vehicles that currently require an MOT from three years, postpone the requirement to four years;
- for cars and motorcycles that currently require an MOT from three years, postpone the requirement to four years - but continue to test smaller vans (not exceeding 3,000KG) and larger vans (between 3,000KG and 3,500KG) from three years.
Option two could cut the number of tests taken by 8.3%, it is estimated. Option three, in contrast, could reduce numbers by 7.5%.
New technology makes three year MOT redundant
The Government argued that “safer technology and improved manufacturing means new vehicles stay roadworthy longer”. It added that in the last ten years the number of three and four year old cars involved in a crash - where a defect proved to be a contributing factor - fell from 155 throughout 2006, to 57 in 2015.
In 1967, the MOT free period was reduced from ten to three years. 2.2 million cars per-annum now require a first test at a maximum cost of £54.85. About half the faults that cause failure could be avoided via maintenance tasks such as replacing bulbs, replacing windscreen wiper blades and replacing tyres, the Government argued.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones explained: ”We have some of the safest roads in the world and tests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles. New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago - and so it is only right we bring the test up to date to help save motorists money where we can”, he concluded.
No change to MOT test procedure
The Government confirmed that there is no plan to change the requirements of the test itself. Further, if its proposals come to fruition motorists continue to have legal responsibility to ensure vehicles are roadworthy irrespective of whether they require a MOT.
The Government is now consulting on its proposals and interested parties have to April 16th 2017 to respond by post, e-mail or survey.