Motorists against proposed MOT changes

UK motorists strongly support keeping the first MOT at three years, according to new research published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In a Savanta poll of British car owners, 67% said they were concerned that extending the MOT would put lives in danger with three quarters agreeing that the typical £35-£45 cost of a test is a price worth paying for the peace of mind it provides that their car is safe and roadworthy.

Government is consulting on delaying a car’s first MOT from when it is three years old to four or five years in a bid to save motorists money. It believes this change would deliver a cumulative saving to owners of three-year-old cars worth between £91m and £117m, based on 2.6 million first presentation tests.

However, some nine in 10 respondents to the survey (87%) said they would prefer other ways to save money, for example, a reduction in VED or a cut in fuel duty, over a delay in a safety check of their vehicle.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Safety is the number one priority for the automotive industry and the MOT is a crucial component in keeping the UK’s vehicles and roads safe. Our survey shows that drivers support the existing MOT frequency and that there is little appetite to change it, despite the increased cost of living. If changes to the MOT are to be made, these should enable testing of advanced electrified powertrains, driver assistance technologies and connected and automated features, as drivers value the peace of mind the MOT offers.”

More than 300,000 vehicles fail their first MOT through failure to meet minimum safety requirements, with fails frequently associated with tyres, brakes, lights and suspension.