Three is the magic number

Euro Car Parts has come out in support of the current three-year period before a new car required an MOT test.

A government consultation is looking at extending the period to four years, but Euro Car Parts has joined a number of other leading industry bodies calling for the three-year period to remain in place.

It found that an extra 411,958 unsafe cars could be on the roads and risk higher accident rates if new cars were allowed to drive for four years before requiring an MOT.

Martin Gray, CEO of Euro Car Parts said, ‘The MOT picks up safety critical problems and ensures defects are put right, so that the owner is driving a car that can protect them properly. The current MOT test is proven to improve road safety standards, so we should be looking to support a system that is working rather than change something that has shown good results in recent years.

‘While the impact of the proposed change on businesses like Euro Car Parts is minimal, the wider implications for the industry are significant. There are more than 29 million MOT tests carried out at 22,000 garages every year, so moving to a four-year MOT proposal represents a real threat to jobs. This is a concern not just for the aftermarket but for the broader UK economy.’

Official figures from 2015-2016 reveal that around 17% of cars fail their first MOT on their initial attempt. In 2016, technicians identified over 400,000 potentially fatal vehicle defects, including 24,628 suspension failures and 47,138 brake failures. In the same year, 92,938 fewer car accidents were recorded in the UK compared to the same 2005 statistics, a result that has been attributed to improved vehicle safety, a standard that is enforced by the current MOT system.

Furthermore, 85,720 failures on cars taking their first MOT are due to tyres. Tyresafe, in partnership with Highways England, found that millions of motorists only replace tyres when required in order to pass the MOT. If the MOT deadline is extended by an additional year, this could mean 28,573 extra unsafe tyres on UK roads.

To draw attention to the issue, Euro Car Parts has registered an official government petition (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/190843) to urge decision-makers to rethink the proposed changes to current MOT legislation. The company is asking workshops to sign the petition, or to respond to the government’s online consultation, to highlight the level of concern.