January 31, 2023
Earlier this month, on the 18th of January, the Department for Transport (DfT) launched a public consultation on the future of MOTs.
An MOT is a test that ensures vehicles are safe and roadworthy to help reduce the risk to the driver and other road users. Currently, a car does not need an MOT until three years from its first registration date and then it needs to be tested annually. But one of the proposed changes is to extend this from three years to four years.
The Government has stressed that ensuring the UK keeps its high road safety standards remains a key part of any changes. According to their data most new vehicles pass the MOT test at three years and the number of casualties in car collisions due to vehicle defects remains low so their analysis shows that this change should not impact road safety.
They’ve estimated that extending the time until a new car needs an MOT could save drivers across Great Britain around £100 million a year in MOT fees, with the average cost of an MOT being £40.
One thing to note is that testing equivalent to the MOT is already at four years as standard in many European countries including in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
This is just one measure that is being considered to ensure MOT testing for cars, motorbikes and vans continues to balance the costs for motorists with ensuring road safety, keeps up with technological advances and supports emission reduction goals.
Other aspects that they are seeking public views on include the frequency of MOT testing and how monitoring emissions can be improved to increase the environmental efficiency of vehicles. Suggestions they have offered include introducing testing for further pollutants like the particulate number and NOx to ensure cars meet emission standards throughout their entire lifetime. Introducing testing EV batteries to improve their safety and reliability, whether measures should be introduced to tackle loud engines and how the DVSA can crack down on MOT and mileage fraud.
Since MOTs were first introduced in 1960 there have been significant changes in vehicle technology, especially with the advancement of electric vehicles (EVs) and safety systems like driver-assisted lane keeping or road sign recognition.
The consultation is open to anyone who wants to comment on the proposed changes and if you want to express your opinion you can download their form here and then email it or post it to them on the contact details from the same page.
The DfT has advised that any changes that do go ahead will be supported by an information campaign to make drivers aware of them, led by themselves and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
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