Owners of new cars and motorcycles will no longer require an MOT for their vehicles’ first four years on the road, under new plans which the Government says will save motorists ‘more than £100m a year’.
Announced yesterday (22 Jan) by transport minister Andrew Jones, the proposals will extend the period before the first MOT test is required from the current three years.
While acknowledging that the MOT test plays an important role in ensuring the safety of vehicles, Mr Jones said that new vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago when the MOT-free period was reduced from 10 to three years.
It is a legal requirement for all owners to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy, regardless of whether they have passed an MOT test, and the content of the tests will not change.
More than 2.2m cars each year have to undergo their first MOT test, which costs owners a maximum of £54.85.
In the last 10 years, the DfT says 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.
The most common reason for cars to fail their first MOT test is faulty lights, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
Andrew Jones said: “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 Government is now consulting on the plans which it says will bring England, Scotland and Wales in line with Northern Ireland and many other European countries including France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Norway.
The RAC says it is ‘generally supportive’ of the plans, but has expressed concerns over high mileage vehicles.
David Bizley, chief engineer, said: "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."