The first MoT test on cars and motorcycles won’t be extended to four years following safety concerns expressed during a Government consultation.
The joint DfT and DVSA press release says ‘ministers put road safety first’ when deciding to maintain the period before a car’s first MoT test at three years.
Most of those responding to the DfT consultation on the subject were against the proposal to extend the period to four years on safety grounds, arguing that the savings to motorists were outweighed by the risk to road users – and pointing out that the test often highlights upcoming issues affecting the vehicle.
A public survey for DfT by Populus also showed fewer than half of people were in favour of the change.
Jesse Norman, roads minister, said: “Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MoT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.
“We are looking at further research to ensure the MoT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.”
The MoT test was introduced in 1960, at that time requiring vehicles to undergo a first check after 10 years. It was changed in 1967 to three years.
In 2016 (the most recent figures available), more than 2.4m cars had their first MoT test. The pass rate was about 85% and the most common reasons for failure included lighting, tyres and braking faults.
The Government says that changing the time period until the first test would have saved motorists more than £100m a year.
“We believe that the Government’s decision to stick with the first MOT being at three years is the right decision and one which will be welcomed by the majority of drivers and road safety campaigners.
“Our RAC breakdown data suggests that for the majority of vehicles, it would have been reasonable to move the date of a first MOT test from three to four years. However, for high-mileage vehicles, four years was too long before the first MOT and therefore it made sense to ‘keep it simple’ and retain the current three year arrangement.”
David Bizley, RAC chief engineer
“London Road Safety Council welcomes this sensible decision by the Government. During the consultation road safety stakeholders clearly communicated their concerns and the Government has listened and acted accordingly. This is an excellent example of how the consultation process should work.”
Mark Bunting, press officer, London Road Safety Council
“We were very concerned that extending the time before a new car’s first MOT to four years would present a big threat to road safety.
“GEM welcomes the government decision to keep the first MOT at three years. We understand that hard-pressed motorists are always looking for ways to save money, but if this involves compromising safety then it would be false economy indeed.”
Neil Worth, Road Safety Officer, GEM Motoring Assist