Potential MOT changes could ‘land drivers with higher costs’

On February 16, the Department for Transport quietly changed the deadline for the end of the MOT consultation. It was originally meant to come to an end on February 28, but the Government extended the consultation closing date to March 22, 2023.

The consultation is set to close next month, although the DfT will not immediately decide on any changes based on the results, according to the Independent Garage Association (IGA).

Views are being sought to update MOT testing for cars, motorbikes and vans to ensure roadworthiness checks continue to balance costs on motorists.

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 three to four years. 

The average MOT costs £40 and the move could save motorists across Great Britain around £100million a year in MOT fees.

Richard Evans, head of technical services at webuyanycar, commented on the extension to the MOT consultation and what it could mean for drivers.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “An MOT ensures that brakes, tyres and other critical vehicle parts meet minimum legal requirements which is crucial for the safety of all road users.

“Delaying an MOT could in fact land drivers with higher costs in the long run. 

“Spotting any problems as soon as possible helps drivers know exactly what is going on with their car to avoid unexpected servicing bills, especially with living costs on the rise.”

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Any changes to the MOT will be supported by an information campaign led by the Department for Transport and the 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 three years.  

Mr Evans added: “MOTs are not only an important indicator of how road worthy your car is but it also highlights the emissions a car produces which is particularly relevant given the introduction of more ULEZ zones across the country. 

“Our MOT checklist can help to ensure your car is legal and ready to get you from A to B safely.”

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The Department for Transport stated that the number of casualties in car collisions due to vehicle defects had remained low.

Because of this, it said the change from three to four years for the first MOT should not impact road safety.

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

Among the proposals, the consultation will consider whether electric vehicles’ batteries should be tested to improve the safety and reliability of EVs and if additional measures should be introduced to tackle excessively loud engines.

It will also look at how the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can continue to crack down against MOT and mileage fraud.

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

Potential new measures include introducing testing of pollutants such as particulate number (PN) and NOx to ensure diesel, petrol and hybrid cars always meet emissions requirements throughout their lifespan.

The announcement of the consultation, as well as its contents, spawned mixed reactions from road safety experts, with some, including the AA president, suggesting it could lead to an increase in accidents.

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