An unsafe change to the MOT?

March 13, 2017 By Phil Curry

The MOT was first introduced in the 1960s in order to ensure vehicles used on the road were safe. Today, the law states that new cars must undergo an MOT after three years, unless the government gets its way and shifts that back by another year

When it was announced, it was stated that the move would save motorists around £100 million, which equates to £50 per driver. However, the 7.5 million motorists who are driving cars up to three years old, plus anyone who buys a new car would only save this figure. Is this £50 worth the potential issues that it creates?

The paper that is part of the consultation process states that the move could result in increased deaths and injuries on the roads, while some vehicles around three years old already have 50,000 or more miles on the clock. Add another 15,000 and all of a sudden you have a high mileage car, which has not been checked for safety, driving on the roads of the UK with potentially serious defects.

The paper also states that the move to four years is down to new vehicles becoming more resilient to ‘wear and tear’ issues. Yet tyres and brakes are affected by the amount of use and the way a vehicle is driven. Tyres have a certain life expectancy and the onus will now be on the driver to check, something of a worry when many believe the MOT is a service rather than a safety inspection only.

So, drivers have to ensure they maintain their cars, more deaths will occur and costs of servicing may increase, as worn parts may increase strain on other areas, meaning they need to be replaced too.

The MOT is there for a reason, to ensure drivers are in safe vehicles, that anything dangerous is removed from the road and that the public can be safe in the knowledge that they won’t be the victim of a poorly maintained car or van. Increasing it to four years for new vehicles is a dangerous move.

You can read the paper and sign the consultation here: