Drivers back MOT extensions

More than eight out of 10 (84%) used car buyers would back the government’s idea of switching to two years between MOT tests.

The new monthly Startline Used Car Tracker shows that 69% of this group believe their car would remain safe despite the longer gap. Saving money appears to be less of a factor behind their thinking, mentioned by only 16% of those in favour.

Of the 16% of people who don’t agree with lengthening the test, 50% worry about the safety of other people’s cars and 27% about the safety of their own. Over a fifth (23%) don’t believe longer gaps between tests would save money.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “This is a widely reported idea that was apparently floated by the cabinet as a potential way of helping people save money during the cost-of-living crisis but was widely criticised by the motor industry on safety grounds.

“Certainly, any MOT tester could tell you horror stories about the cars that they see every day under the current one-year system and before any move was made by the government towards longer testing, we’d like to see widespread consultation.”

The monthly Tracker, which looks at changing trends in the used car market, shows worsening personal finances is having a major impact on used car buying intentions, with 59% saying that that the cost-of-living will affect their choice of car while inflation is also a growing concern. However, fewer people are worried about job security and running costs.

Fuel costs are also becoming more of a worry, with seven per cent saying they were more likely to buy a diesel vehicle given a choice including petrol, hybrid and electric.

Burgess said: “At a time when pump prices are higher than we’ve ever seen, diesel is a known quantity that offers reliable and economical motoring, even on high mileage vehicles, despite widespread worries about its impact on air quality. In terms of fuel choices, it may increasingly look like a safe haven in the shorter term for people who are worried about their finances.”