MOT test exemptions mean over one million unroadworthy cars are left on UK roads
MOT experts say at least 1.1million cars would have failed a vehicle examination and would have been pulled off the roads. Experts say at least 316,000 of these vehicles would have failed with a dangerous defect while almost 800,000 would have failed with major issues.
- MOT extensions should be ended ‘without delay’
However, MOT exemption rules mean only 25 percent of cars which were due an MOT test since 30 March have actually been tested.
Analysis by Kwik Fit has found 49 percent of motorists who were due an MOT will go to the end of the six month exemption before having an exam.
Shockingly, at least eight percent of those willing to wait have admitted they believe there is something wrong with their car and do not want it to fail.
One in five road users say they wish to wait until the end of the exemption period simply to save money even if it meant risking their car safety.
Kwik Fit have urged the government to remove the extension on MOT tests to prevent dangerous cars from remaining on the road.
Roger Griggs, communications director at KwikFit said the extension has been helpful but urged for the policy to be abandoned.
He said: “It has been very interesting to see that many drivers have still had their car MOTed in spite of receiving an extension, because they want the reassurance a test provides.
“The extension has been very helpful to drivers during the lockdown, but as Covid-19 prevention measures begin to ease we urge the government to remove the automatic extension in order to prevent dangerous and illegal cars taking to the roads unchecked.”
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Kwik Fit joins the Independent Garage Association (IGA) who supported an ending of the exemption last week after claiming the ban put motorists “at risk”.
Analysis from Kwik Fit found over 70 percent of motorists would like the government to end the MOT extrenion.
A third of motorists said they wanted the policy to be scrapped immediately with 19 percent saying it should be lifted when traffic levels return to a quarter of normal levels.
Mr Griggs said: “Our research found that the most common reason people were giving for going to the end of the extension without a test was that they ‘knew their car was safe’.
- MOT centres could face ‘backlog’ after lockdown
“Unfortunately, our experience shows that many people who think their car is safe are actually driving a vehicle with dangerous or major defects.
“The physical MOT test is a vital way to help ensure the safety of those drivers, and the other road users around them.”
Northern Ireland has shifted their approach in the opposite direction with motorists now given a one-year exemption on MOT tests.
Infrastructure Minister Niochola Mallon says motorists who have a test due in shutdown would be awarded the exemption as it would not be possible to accomodate a backlog alongside normal business.
Northern Ireland’s Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) had decided to suspend tests for three months until 22 June before the policy was extended.
MOT test exemptions were introduced for six months for the rest of the UK from 30 March with certificates simply extended.
This means their new MOT due date is exactly six months after when it was initially due, meaning a policy due on 1 April will now be due on 1 October.
However, despite the shutdown Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confieme cars must remain in a road legal condition.
Police officers can still issue fines and charges for vehicles which do not comply with regulations with charges of up to £2,500 for those driving a car in a dangerous condition.
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