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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sam Elliott-Gibbs

Brit drivers warned of major law change that could alter how often they'll need an MOT

Drivers were warned about possible big law changes that could alter how often they'll need an MOT on a new vehicle.

A cost-cutting proposal would mean annual safety checks may only be needed every two years - rather than one.

Brits need an MOT for new cars, vans and motorbikes after three years, but that could also now be increased to four.

Ministers were asking for views on ways to improve testing. They believed new cars were much safer now and more relaxed measures should be put into place.

Among the proposals, the Department for Transport's consultation would consider whether electric vehicles’ batteries should be tested to improve safety and reliability.

MOTs are undertaken in order to make sure the vehicle runs smoothly and is no danger to you or to the road (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

They will also ask if additional measures should be introduced to tackle excessively loud engines.

MOT rules were first put into place in the '60s, but with technological advances, they believe new vehicles are now much safer.

The government today announced: "The Department for Transport has today launched a public consultation on the future of MOTs in Great Britain.

"Views are being sought to update MOT testing for cars, motorbikes and vans to ensure roadworthiness checks continue to balance costs on motorists while ensuring road safety, keeping up with advances in vehicle technology, and tackling vehicle emissions.

There could be changes under new government proposals (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

"To ensure MOTs remain fit for the future, the consultation launched today is seeking views on proposals to change the date at which the first MOT for new light vehicles is required from 3 to 4 years. The average MOT costs £40 and the move could save motorists across Great Britain around £100 million a year in MOT fees.

"Since the MOT was introduced in 1960 – and especially in recent years – there have been major developments in vehicle technology such as lane-assisted driving which have increased road safety, while the spread of electric and hybrid cars is rapidly changing the nature of vehicles on our roads.

"Any changes to the MOT will be supported by an information campaign led by the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to inform drivers of the updates to MOTs and remind them of their responsibility to keep vehicles roadworthy.

"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 3 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.

They are are looking at changing the date of a car's first MOT test - and MOT frequency (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

"Undertaking roadworthiness testing 4 years since the vehicle’s registration is already standard practice across many European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

"The consultation also seeks views on the frequency of MOTs and how to improve monitoring of emissions to tackle pollution to bolster the environmental efficiency of vehicles."

Eric Smith, MOT scheme manager at Kwik Fit, the UK’s largest MOT tester, said: “We welcome the fact that the government is consulting on how the scope of the MOT test should be improved to ensure new car technology and safety systems are appropriately tested.

"We don’t believe there is good evidence to indicate that delaying a car’s first test beyond three years is a risk worth taking. In fact, the government’s own forecasts show that delaying tests could lead to an increase in road casualties as well as a risk of more cars running with illegal emission levels.

“The reality is that the annual MOT fee is a very small proportion of a driver’s annual expenditure and the test supports drivers with a timely and regular check on important safety components – not least the condition of tyres.

"Of the vehicle defects listed as contributory factors to accidents, the government data show that tyres are most common, and tyre condition is unrelated to vehicle age. Our experience shows that the annual check remains vital in not only improving the safety of our customers but also extending the life of their vehicles and reducing drivers’ overall maintenance costs.”

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes told The Sun that although they don't oppose delaying a new vehicle’s first MOT, the plan needs to be carefully considered.

They feared it could increase the number of unroadworthy vehicles on our roads, something which would put people's lives at risk.

"We believe there should be a requirement for particularly high mileage vehicles to be tested sooner," they said.

"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."

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