First MoT test to remain at three years to ‘protect road safety’


The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) has welcomed the Government announcement that the first MoT test on cars and motorcycles won’t be extended to four years following safety concerns expressed during a consultation.

The joint DfT and DVSA press release says ‘ministers put road safety first’ when deciding to maintain the period before a car’s first MoT test at three years.

Most of those responding to the DfT consultation on the subject were against the proposal to extend the period to four years on safety grounds, arguing that the savings to motorists were outweighed by the risk to road users – and pointing out that the test often highlights upcoming issues affecting the vehicle.

A public survey for DfT by Populus also showed fewer than half of people were in favour of the change.

Jesse Norman, roads minister, said:

“Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MoT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.

“We are looking at further research to ensure the MoT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.”

Nicola Foster, chair of SERP, said:

“We are very pleased that the Government has erred on the side of safety in making this decision.

“Road safety stakeholders and many members of the public who contributed to the consultation were uneasy with the proposed extension to four years, and we commend the Government for listening to these concerns and acting accordingly.”

The MoT test was introduced in 1960, at that time requiring vehicles to undergo a first check after 10 years. It was changed in 1967 to three years.

In 2016 (the most recent figures available), more than 2.4m cars had their first MoT test. The pass rate was about 85% and the most common reasons for failure included lighting, tyres and braking faults.

The Government says that changing the time period until the first test would have saved motorists more than £100m a year.

22 January 2018

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