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Government U-turn over change to Britain’s MOT test laws

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January 19, 2018
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Your car, van or motorcycle will still need an MOT test check when it reaches three years of age after a Government U-turn.

The decision comes after a Department for Transport consultation last year to consider changing the wait before the first MOT to four years – a move that could have saved motorists millions of pounds.

Most of those responding to the consultation were against the proposals on safety grounds.

MOT test highlights safety problems before they occur

They argued the savings to motorists were outweighed by the risk to road users as the MOT often highlights upcoming issues affecting the vehicle.

A public survey for DfT by Populus also showed fewer than half of people were in favour of the change to the MOT test.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, and are always looking at ways of making them safer.”

MOT test

Last MOT test change was 50 years ago

“Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MOT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.

“We are looking at further research to ensure the MOT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.”

Cars must be roadworthy regardless of MOT test

By law, all vehicles must be roadworthy, regardless of whether they have passed an MOT, and the content of the tests will not be changed.

The test was introduced in 1960, requiring vehicles to undergo a first check after 10 years. It was changed in 1967 to three years.

In 2016 (the most recent figures available), more than 2.4 million cars had their first MOT, which costs owners a maximum of £54.85.

Pass rate for first MOT test is 85%

The pass rate was about 85% and the most common reasons for failure include lighting, tyres and braking faults.

Changing the time period until the first test would have saved motorists more than £100 million a year.

There is good news for motorists regarding the MOT test, however, as it was announced last year that cars would become MOT exempt when they reach 40 years of age.

  • Were you in favour of a change to the MOT test laws? Send us your views.

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