60% of motorists think that a car’s first MOT should continue to be carried out after three years, with just 29% favouring a move to a European system which tests cars after four years, according to an IAM poll.
A new European Union directive sets down a minimum requirement for the MOT, with the first test carried out when the car is no more than four years old, and subsequent tests no more than two years apart. Most of Europe uses this ‘four-two-two’ cycle of testing.
But the UK has a more stringent cycle of testing with the first test when the car is three years old, followed by annual testing. Despite this, 27% of three-year-old cars in the UK fail their first MOT test, whereas in France, which adopts the four-two-two cycle, 6% of cars fail the first test at four years old.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “In a time when people are struggling financially, the MOT seems to be one cost they are happy to pay. The IAM is wary of abandoning our well-established and accepted cycle of MOT testing. The poll suggests that most motorists are happy with it.
“But the question needs to be asked, why are so many cars in the UK failing at only three years, and why does France have a much better pass rate at four years? Before any change to the system, the Government should commission a review to assure motorists that MOT tests are safe, reliable and consistent. The test should be for the benefit of road safety – not the garages that carry it out.”
For more information contact the IAM Press Office on 020 8996 9777.