Proposed MOT change could save British drivers £100million a year – but not everybody is convinced it’s safe


THE Department for Transport has launched a public consultation on the future of MOTs in Britain.

The consultation is looking at the possibility of changing the date of a car’s first MOT test and MOT frequency.


The DfT has announced a public consultation on the MOTCredit: Getty

The DfT says the consultation is seeking views on changing the date at which the first MOT for new cars, vans and motorbikes is required from 3 to 4 years.

It says the average MOT costs £40 and the move could save motorists across Great Britain around £100 million a year in MOT fees.

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The MOT was introduced in 1960 and it argues cars have become far more technologically advanced and reliable since.

The DfT therefore questions the need for an MOT test at year three, suggesting year four would be just as safe.

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It said: ‘Ensuring that the UK maintains its world-class record on road safety is at the heart of the proposals.

‘Data shows that most new vehicles pass the first MOT test at three years.

‘With the number of casualties in car collisions due to vehicle defects remaining low, Government analysis shows the change from 3 to 4 years for the first MOT should not impact road safety.

‘Undertaking roadworthiness testing four years since the vehicle’s registration is already standard practice across many European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.’

The DfT is also looking at the frequency of MOTs beyond a car’s first test and whether the current annual test should be changed.

The test itself will be assessed too, with a greater focus on emissions and electric car batteries put forward.

However, some organisations worry that the changes could prove dangerous.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “While we’re not opposed to delaying a new vehicle’s first MOT, we believe there should be a requirement for particularly high mileage vehicles to be tested sooner.

“If the Government is looking to improve the MOT, now is the ideal time to take into account how much a vehicle is driven, alongside the number of years it’s been on the road.

“We’re also disappointed the Government is still entertaining the idea of increasing the time between MOTs.

“Our research clearly shows drivers don’t agree with this and believe it’s dangerous.

“It would also likely increase the number of unroadworthy vehicles on our roads – putting lives at risk – and not save drivers any money as they would likely end up with bigger repair bills as a result.

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“Given the technological advances of driving aids in cars and the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, there is an argument that suggests the MOT will need to adapt accordingly in the future.

“Certainly, moves to check for faulty or removed diesel particulate filters will improve air quality by targeting dirty vehicles.”

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