Government urged to shelve MOT changes

The automotive industry has united in its condemnation of any possible changes in frequency to the MOT test.

The UK government is looking at relaxing the MOT test frequency from every year to every two years to help ease the cost-of-living crisis.

But the UK Alliance for the Freedom of Car Repair (UK AFCAR), which is made up of trade associations and commercial organisations who share common concerns about the UK aftermarket, has called on the UK government to shelve any such proposals that reduce road safety and lead to an actual increase in car repair and maintenance costs. The environment would also suffer as vehicle emissions remaining unchecked will result in poorly maintained vehicles harming the environment.

Data from the DVSA shows that one in three vehicles presented for an MOT test fail and 30% of those fail on brakes, a safety critical component. Therefore, moving to an extended testing period with an ageing vehicle parc would see more defective vehicles on the roads and potentially cause more accidents and fatalities, as well as higher repair costs.

SMMT data also shows that 42% of vehicles on UK roads are over 10 years old – this highlights the need for regular MOT inspections.

Mark Field, IAAF chief executive and UK AFCAR chairman, said: “We recognise the enormous strain the rising cost of living has on UK families and its solution will need be found through a diverse and widespread range of measures. But, each time the MOT test frequency has been called into question, it has been proven beyond doubt that extending the test frequency would mean a significant reduction in road safety as there would be more defective vehicles on UK roads and, as a consequence, an actual increase in repair costs for drivers.

“Any move to extend the test frequency would also be a significant blow to thousands of people, jobs and business in the automotive repair sector, who were able to remain open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring the safe and affordable mobility of essential workers and members of the public.”