First MOT test to remain at three years, as government responds to safety fears

First MOT to remain at three years, as government responds to car safety fears

High rate of failures a concern

THE FIRST MOT for a car will not be extended from three to four years. The government says the planned change was dropped following public concerns over road safety.

Following a public consultation, the overwhelming majority of respondents believe that delaying the MOT until a car’s fourth year would pose a safety risk to drivers and other road users.

At the same time, the government minister in charge of Britain’s roads said there could be environmental concerns associated with the change. The MOT test checks all vehicles’ emissions.

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Jesse Norman, the minister for roads and transport, said “After careful consideration, I have decided not to proceed with the changes proposed to the timing of the first MOT test. Great Britain has a comprehensive testing system for vehicles which makes an important contribution to road safety.”

In 2015, 1.93m cars were tested for the first time, and there were nearly 330,000 failures.

The most common causes of an MOT failure were the lights (143,413); defective tyres (85,720); the driver’s view of the road (73,883); brakes (47,138); and suspension (24,628).

The government had suggested that by extending a vehicle’s first MOT to when it is four-years old, drivers would save an estimated £100m a year. Around two million vehicles undergo their first test each year, and with the exception of Germany (three years) many European nations with comparably-sized car pools carry out their equivalent first safety test in the fourth year.

It wasn’t until 1967 that a car had to have an MOT in its third year. Before, motorists could drive for 10 years before requiring any checks of their vehicle.

Roger Griggs, of Kwik Fit, said: “We welcome the government’s decision to keep the first MOT at three years as we believe this is vital in maintaining road safety. Although cars are becoming ever safer, Kwik Fit’s research has shown that on many cars wearable items such as tyres aren’t checked frequently enough, with drivers relying on the MOT to flag issues.”

A camera caught me driving untaxed to my MoT test. I’m being prosecuted. What should I do?