Home Money Government considers two-year automobile MOTs to chop the associated fee of living

Government considers two-year automobile MOTs to chop the associated fee of living


Hundreds of cars would turn out to be ‘death traps on wheels’ under plans to make owners get MOTs every two years moderately than one, ministers were warned yesterday.

Motoring groups said the proposals, the most important shake-up of MOTs for a long time, would result in more deaths and injuries on the roads.

Of particular concern is that 1000’s more cars, vans and motorbikes might be driving around with brakes and tyres which don’t meet minimum legal requirements.

Hundreds of garages that depend on revenue from the annual checks could also go bust.

Drivers will be fined as much as £1,000 for using a vehicle with out a valid MOT (stock image)

The Government’s own internal assessment estimates that Britain’s 23,400 approved test centres might be starved of as much as £123.6million a 12 months.

Under the plans, recent cars would only need their first MOT after 4 years moderately than three.

A consultation launched yesterday said officials are also ‘considering if it is acceptable to maneuver to testing every two years moderately than every 12 months’ after the primary MOT. It covers cars, vans and motorbikes.

The Department for Transport (DfT) argues that advances in vehicle technology, reminiscent of with electric cars and lane-assisted driving, mean the annual MOT, which has been in place since 1960, isn’t any longer needed.

It also claims motorists would collectively save around £100 million by paying for a check-up once every two years moderately than one.

But motoring groups dismissed this, saying delaying checks means faults can build-up over time and potentially turn out to be costlier.

Additionally they pointed to figures within the Government’s own assessment acknowledging that deaths and injuries would increase under the proposals.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: ‘When you move the MOT from every 12 months to 2 years meaning you’ll have a rise of death traps on wheels on the road because there could be no independent check on those cars.

‘And inside two years, a driver doing 30,000 miles a 12 months, it is extremely easy to have bald tyres and no brakes, and that’s why the MOT is nice.

‘A recent automobile could also easily have bald tyres inside 12 months three. The MOT is just not “a pleasant to have”, it’s crucial to road safety.’

He added: ‘While the vast majority of cars probably can be high quality, it’s those outliers – the automobile that does high mileage and isn’t maintained – that potentially cause tragedy.’

RAC’s head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes added: ‘While we’re not against delaying a recent vehicle’s first MOT, we imagine there ought to be a requirement for particularly high mileage vehicles to be tested sooner.

‘If the Government is trying to improve the MOT, now’s the best time to consider how much a vehicle is driven alongside the variety of years it has been on the road.

‘We’re also disillusioned the Government continues to be entertaining the concept of accelerating the time between MOTs.

‘Our research clearly shows drivers don’t agree with this and imagine it’s dangerous.’

Mike Hawes, chief executive on the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders, also raised his concerns with delaying MOTs.

‘Although today’s vehicles are safer and more reliable than ever, safety critical components reminiscent of brakes and tyres proceed to wear through normal use and result in thousands and thousands of MOT failures every 12 months, including at the present first test at 12 months three,’ he told us. 

‘Stretching MOT intervals will shrink the protection net and jeopardise the UK’s record of getting among the safest roads on the earth in exchange for a small saving, which could actually cost consumers more in the long term as complex faults can develop over time.’

The National Franchised Dealers Association, which represent automobile showrooms across the UK, also raised objection to the DfT’s plans and said it’s going to be responding to the DfT’s consultation to ‘ensure future MOTs are conducted in a secure and fair manner’.

Chief executive Sue Robinson said: ‘The first aspect to contemplate when proposing changes to the MOT system is the protection of motorists because of this of auto defects.

‘NFDA is anxious that these changes to the system might not be helpful for motorists or MOT testing centres, particularly for franchised dealers, to justify the changes and we can be conducting an intensive investigation into the implications these changes can have.’

AA president Edmund King said: ‘The MOT plays a significant role in ensuring that vehicles on our roads are secure and well maintained’ (stock image)

Stuart James, the chief exec on the IGA added: ‘The MOT plays a significant part in keeping the UK’s roads amongst the safest on the earth, and the IGA will work closely with the federal government to safeguard this record and ensure a good, viable and secure future for the MOT system which protects all road users.’

Hayley Pells from the Institute of the Motor Industry said the present MOT model is ‘well overdue for review’ but said it stays ‘vital to make sure is that a give attention to cost-saving doesn’t put road users at heightened risk’. 

KwikFit, which claims to be Britain’s largest MOT tester, described delaying a automobile’s first test beyond three years as ‘a risk not price taking’.

Eric Smith, MOT scheme manager on the garage network, said: ‘The federal government’s own forecasts show that this can result in a rise in road casualties and in addition cars running with illegal emission levels.

‘The truth is that the annual MOT fee is a really small proportion of a driver’s annual expenditure and the test supports drivers with a timely and regular check on vital safety components – not least the condition of tyres. 

‘Of the vehicle defects listed as contributory aspects to accidents, the federal government data show that tyres are commonest, and tyre condition will be unrelated to vehicle age. 

‘Our experience shows that an annual check stays vital in not only improving the protection of our roads but extending vehicle life and reducing drivers’ overall maintenance costs.’

Drivers will be fined as much as £1,000 for using a vehicle with out a valid MOT and it’s going to also invalidate their insurance.

The tests check a lot of parts reminiscent of lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes to make sure they meet legal standards. 

More stringent checks were added to the MOT by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in May 2018, which included stricter rules for diesel vehicle emissions and the introduction of three defect categories: minor; major; and dangerous.

Throughout the first 12 months of the tougher rules applying, a 3rd of vehicles tested were found to have a ‘dangerous’ issue, which saw three million potentially lethal motors cleared from our roads. 

MOTs for cars are capped at a price of £54.85, with repair bills on top.

The DfT said MOTs cost a median of £40 and delaying the primary test for brand spanking new vehicles could save motorists around £100million a 12 months.

It said ‘major developments in vehicle technology’ have increased road safety since MOTs were introduced in 1960, reminiscent of lane-assisted driving.

Pushing back first MOTs for brand spanking new cars to the fourth 12 months would bring Britain consistent with other European countries, with this ‘already standard practice’ for the initial roadworthiness tests for brand spanking new vehicles after 4 across many European countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, the DfT said.

Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for using a vehicle without a valid MOT and it will also invalidate their insurance

Drivers will be fined as much as £1,000 for using a vehicle with out a valid MOT and it’s going to also invalidate their insurance

It said the variety of casualties in crashes brought on by vehicle defects is ‘low’ and Government evaluation shows delaying the primary MOT ‘mustn’t impact road safety’. 

Yet the DfT’s latest road casualty figures show 26 people were killed in crashes in Britain in 2021 when vehicle defects were a contributory factor. 

And recent evaluation of this data revealed that defective and poorly-maintained vehicles were a contributory think about a complete of 1,759 of all road casualties recorded that 12 months – a rise of seven per cent on 2020 figures.

It uncovered that faulty brakes were by far essentially the most common defect type, causing a complete of 750 casualties in 2021 and being considered one of the causes of 10 fatalities, in keeping with DfT records.

Tyres were the second commonest defect linked to accidents and were among the many contributing aspects in 491 injuries.

Nonetheless, worn and underinflated tyres were mostly linked to causing deaths, with 12 people needlessly losing their lives in collisions involving vehicles with worn or illegal rubber.

Faulty steering and suspension also contributed towards 255 casualties and were linked to 6 fatalities in total in 2021.

While the DfT wants to delay MOT schedules, its latest road casualty stats showed a rise in the number of collisions where vehicle defects - such as badly worn tyres - are a contributory factor to injuries in crashes

While the DfT desires to delay MOT schedules, its latest road casualty stats showed an increase within the variety of collisions where vehicle defects – reminiscent of badly worn tyres – are a contributory factor to injuries in crashes


Contributory factor reported in collision 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Vehicle defects 3,159 2,855 3,230 2,630 2,586 2,199 2,030 1,862 1,643 1,759
Tyres illegal, defective or under inflated 1,238 968 1,125 908 876 719 711 597 507 491
Defective lights or indicators 256 201 236 167 187 191 166 162 181 174
Defective brakes 1,086 1,046 1,100 1,000 1,016 802 741 719 644 750
Defective steering or suspension 396 451 481 380 357 391 325 283 254 255
Defective or missing mirrors 19 20 11 14 13 22 17 14 9 16
Overloaded or poorly loaded vehicle or trailer 310 317 395 264 236 162 146 149 117 140
Source: Department for Transport Reported road casualties, by severity, road user type and contributory factor, Great Britain, ten years as much as 2021 – All casualties

N.B. The full defects is not going to match the sum of the itemised aspects as some casualties can have multiple contributory aspects


Today’s announcement by the DfT comes just months after suggestions that the MOT test might be prolonged sparked an indignant response from motoring groups. 

In April 2021, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps were said to be considering extending MOTs to each two years, though experts blasted the concept pointing to MOT records showing 30.3 per cent of cars and vans failing the test at the primary attempt.

Almost one in ten vehicles were also found to have not less than one ‘dangerous’ defect.

The RAC said in April that extending MOTs to 2 years would make our roads ‘far less secure’ and the Independent Garage Association (IGA) called the plan ‘dangerous, unwanted and unreasonable’.

In September the RAC added: ‘Drivers have serious concerns in regards to the Government’s plans to alter the compulsory MOT from every 12 months to each two years to cut back the associated fee of living, with many believing it’s going to result in an increase within the variety of unsafe vehicles on the road.’

Their research showed 55 per cent of 1,435 drivers surveyed said they felt changing the MOT to each two years was a nasty idea. 

When asked why they felt it was a nasty idea, 98 per cent said it could lead to more unsafe vehicles on the road and 20 per cent believed it could result in a rise within the variety of collisions on the road.

Nearly two thirds thought it could end in additional vehicles breaking down.

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