The government is proposing that newly purchased vehicles have their first MOT when they are four years old (rather than three, as per the current requirement).
This information is from the SMMT. They report that the proposal has caused widespread concern from UK motorists who fear that it could lead to unsafe cars being allowed on the roads.
The government argues that extending the wait for MOTs could save an average of £45 over the course of a vehicle’s lifetime. That works out at a saving of £100 million per year for the UK’s motorists. Of course, the counter-argument is that it will cost the car servicing industry to lose the same amount.
In order to put the proposal into action, a public consultation will occur. If successful, it could lead to the new measures being in place as early as 2018.
It seems, however, that the majority of motorists oppose the proposal. YouGov has conducted a survey on the matter, which indicates that 83% of drivers would rather have peace of mind over the safety of their vehicle than an extra £45. 76% of a similar data set back calls from the automotive industry to keep the law as it stands (currently a three-year wait between the purchase of a new vehicle and its first MOT).
What risk does this bring to road safety?
During an MOT, a mechanic rigorously tests the vehicle against legal requirements. This includes examining lights, seatbelts, tyres, brakes and emission levels. Motorists can receive fines of up £1,000 for driving a car without a valid MOT.
Interestingly, many in the car industry actually believe that the current MOT checks are not rigorous enough. They would prefer reform in this area, rather than a new policy that they see as potentially harming the safety of motorists even more.
In reality, most four year old cars should pass an MOT with flying colours. Indeed, the Department for Transport points out that improvements in manufacturing standards mean that new vehicles stay roadworthy for much longer nowadays.
However, as AA President Edmund King said, the new proposal could see an increase in the number of cars on the road with “faulty tyres and lights,” which an MOT would address and which enhanced manufacturing standards have not necessarily impacted. King did also acknowledge, however, that the new measures would bring “cost and time savings for drivers.”
What do you think about the government’s new proposal? Would you take the £45 saving over the full peace of mind regarding vehicle safety? Let us know in the comments section below.
Our safety is much more important. If you can afford a new car you can afford to get it the MOT after 3 years!
Anybody who wants an MOT can have one and pay for it if they are unhappy with the Government mandated interval
I’d rather pay £45 and drive safely.
The longer till first MoT the higher risk to the occupants of the car and other vehicles on the roads… I don’t understand why this government persists in shooting themselves in the foot. They are endangering people’s lives, causing car mechanic business to loose money and less tax will be paid to the budget, plus increasing the number of people who will need medical treatment in case of an accident. And all these with a single decision.
I have an 2002 BMW when in for a service they check over the car and come back with any issues that are required.
To date this has always passed an MOT.
If you have a new car most owners service there cars every year and any faults would be rectified as a matter of course by the garage so 4 years to me seems fine.
If drivers are stupid enough to drive on worn out tyres/brakes they face harming them selves other motorists/pedestrians and the penalty should be steep.
If you are getting your new car serviced as recommended it should pick up any problems that the first MOT would highlight anyway?
A car will have been serviced a couple of times in this time period. A service contains safety checks
MOTs are meaningless in the first place all they do is say that the car meets that particular requirement at the time of testing. Your much better haveing regular servicing.
If this is true, then I will be buying a new car as soon as it comes in. My present car is 5 years old & under 10,000 miles, & I have it serviced every 12 months so I would save. It costs me more to keep the car legal on the road than what petrol I use.
An MOT failure is legally enforcable ie a worn tyre will have to be replaced – but a service will only point out the problem leaving potentially dangerous cars on the road – probably better to require a limited MOT(brakes, tyres, windscreen etc) after 2 years!!
Most new cars now have at least a five/seven yr warranty on them so all defects should be fixed on the servicing which for business cars could be three or four times a year, most business/salesman cars cover at least 100.000 over a three year period and get sold on once they reach near that mileage, so on their last service they will not replace worn parts they will leave that for the next owner, and over it’s three year business services parts that are replaced are after market NOT genuine parts,
I do think that the MOT’S for over three year old cars and older should be extended to two year like the EU countries,
I think the mot’s should be on the mileage of a car not year by year as these business cars/vans can clock up very high mileages in one year more than most of the ordinary driver does in a lifetime, so I think MOT’S should go on the mileage clocked up on every vehicle.
what a typical load of rubbish from another bunch of civil servants
the people who run unsafe cars will still do so and your giving them another year for it to get even worse
it would be more to the point to make it LESS time –in 3 years a car could do 200000miles ,
I have been an MOTtester for 38 years and know by experience that would be the case
time would be better spent making the MOT more relavent and simplfying it
EG — simple statement for testers –“car must be with makers service tolerances” –that,s all you need ,not 300pages of rules
was the car made with rusty corroded discs? where only half the pads touch –NO-but at this time as long as it meets the effiency level –which was set in the 60,s for a minor 100 which had sod all brakes –then it passes – 50% FOR MAIN FOOT BRAKE IS A JOKE + AND IF WHEELS LOCK ON ROLLERS DUE TO BAD GRIP –YOU HAVE TO PASS IT
was the car made with ANY holes in chassis ?–NO — so any rot is a fail
was the car made with a crack in the windscreen? –NO so its a fail –as it is now if the crack does not encroach the wiper area its a pass –if it COmes into it at bottom –you move wipers up so its not +thats a pass
you want a proper emission test –then test should be done under load on a rolling road –that will catch all the peoPle with moodifed diesel s that make all that black smoke under acceleration or a host fo other problems that static testing at idle and fast idle don,t see
just 2 simple things I could go on
the MOT has always been a political thing not a true test of vehicle condition
i could build a dangerous car that would pass a test easily
the simple statement “does it comply with makes minimum service spec ”
would cover it all
I have known owners of new cars not get them serviced at all. They wait for a break down. The MOT is a safety fall back.
If there were no MOT failurs at 3 years then an increase of the MOT start point to 4 years would be justified.
What a way to blow the manufaturers warranty within your first year!
An MOT costs £40.
That’s hardly an amazing saving the Govt are planning to give new car buyers.
If I was a pessimyst, I’d be saying that this was no doubt some pathetic “positive” give-back to all the diesel drivers who (by then) will have had financial ‘shit’ dropped on them.
Technically and mechanically, vehicles are better built than in 1963 when I bought my first car.
Todays vehicles are a totally differrent beast to the Mini (which rusted away from the wheel arches upwards) and the Anglia which also had rust issues early in its life. Todays vehicles use galvanised body steel which lasts so much longer.
I fully support the MOT test but I would expect a vehicle to pass the MOT at 3 years. Better to have the test at 4 years or 5 years after first registration. Technology moves on. Materials improve.
An MOT at 3 years is out of touch with todays technology.
If you have your car serviced in accordance with the manufacturers service plan any faults should be picked up and rectified. Make drivers become more responsible starting with a very pro-active approach to having vehicles covered by insurance and maybe such things as maintainance will follow.
MOT stations should not be run or connected in any way to a maintenance garage, they should be totally independent.
Lets be honest here, the 1st MoTs in the 50s were dealing with a completely different car…most of them broke down once a year…..today’s cars are nothing like the tractors of the past, they are so well engineered mechanically (and that’s what an MoT is a mechanical check up) that cars like Hyundai have a 7 year warranty….No other consumer goods has a 3-7 year warranty, everything else is 12m
This is the right move as most people only do 10-12,000 miles a year and a lot much less, i would say, you should actually consider 5 years as a average standard!
Not necessary for new cars to have an MOT for 5 years, for all of the reasons stated by previous subscriber’s comments.
After that it should be every 3 years.
Is there any statistical evidence suporting the MOT at all.
There has been debate on this re dropping the MOT requirement for pre 1960 vehicles.
I know most driver never do basic checks on lignts , tyres etc infact I wnt into Bath 8 miles away one day during the winter. I left before sun-up and was nearly hit as I exited my drive by a car with no near-side light. It looked like a motorcycle until it got close. This brought lights to mind and I then countd 30 cars on the return trip with faulty lights. The MOT does not help here as it is annual and lighs need to be be checked much more frequently. many of the problems that cause accidents similarly develop between MOT checks.
I have a feeling that MOT tests give drivers a false sense of security after all it passed it MOT so it is OK.
On balance I would drop the compulsory MOT and employ more cops to weed out the neglected cars & bikes. The old time cops recognised that an obvious defect was a sign of a dodgy car so would pull it over and have a look at the tyres, wipers etc.
The police should enforce matters of vehicle defects but as the Government has cut the police force they lack the personel to deal with it.
1st MOT should be at 5 years and then every other year thereafter. It’s the drivers responsibility to ensure lights, tyres etc are in working order and not the place of an MOT to do so instead.
What about newer cars that do less than 5000 a year but follow the full service schedule which doesnt tie up with X miles or X years whichever comes first. How much is ever needed in the big seevices so come the first MOT…at say 10,000 miles …..yes a later MOT would be more suitable
The MOT test should be kept to Three years as more than a good percentage of cars fail at the first time they are tested.
How ridiculous that the Government is looking at this to “save the motorist some money” a pastry £45 over a vehicles life. The Tories ar lining again, so no change there then. Much better to reduce fuel duty if they want to save the motists money or even better scrap road tax and adjust fuel duty accordingly. The more you use, the more you pay & evasion wiped out at a stroke ! I object to paying £520 per year for 1500 odd miles while people clocking up 30,000 miles plus still pay the same no matter how many miles they cover. All down the the Tory country farming yokels no doubt !
Crazy to scrap the current MOT schedule. You only have to see the number of cars already running about with faulty lights (many on new cars too) and poor tyres to realise that no MOT for four years from new is not sensible. £45 once a year is a small price to pay for safety particularly when that is just equivalent to a tank of petrol/diesel!
It amazes me that the majority of the public still think that passing the MOT means the vehicle is roadworthy. All the MOT shows is that the vehicle was or was not safe at the time of actual testing.
Testers will know that regulations do not allow them to go any where near far enough in the actual testing of the vehicle. Much of the test is a visual examination on the condition of the vehicle.
I have taken at least one car for test have it pass and then immediately take it elsewhere for service where leaking brake slave cylinders have come to light which have already started to affect the pads and / or shoes. Within weeks or a few months the brakes would become much less efficient if not actually dangerous. But at the time of the test they passed because they were within the guidelines. If the Regulations allowed it and the Tester was given the time this and other faults would come to light meaning at the very least an advisory or warning notice could be issued or the vehicle actually fail the test.
In my humble opinion if people really want safer vehicles on the road the best thing would be to ensure that vehicles are serviced annually at an approved garage by approved mechanics / technicians. This would not mean the end of the friendly back street garage where hourly labour rates are much lower, but such places would need to ensure that the mechanics / technicians are fully qualified.
Properly serviced and maintained vehicles would be far safer than current MOT Regulations allow for.
I have no connection with the Motor Trade.
The MOT test is there for drivers that don’t know how to check and maintain their vehicle, I know many people that think an MOT is the same as a service. back in the 70’s and 80’s and before cars were rust buckets and fell apart and some were lucky to last three years , my last Honda accord only failed one mot in 18 years for a corroded brake pipe , i kept my eye on the car and had it serviced , my current car is 5 years old and so far so good. I have serviced cars for people that have never had the bonnet up from new, once a woman had a new car and in three years had never had the bonnet up and it had stuck closed. So we have this check to keep an eye on those who can’t do it themselves , and MOT would probably be better mileage related as some people do low mileages , the guy across the road from me car has done 11000 miles in 9 years and never had an MOT failure , other cars could have done 20 or 30 000 miles in a year and need looking at , we could set mileages for first MOT and after that subsequently every year after that.
I think it would be a good idea to change to a four year MOT as cars today are far more reliable than they were even 50 years ago. The original vehicle testing started in 1960 with a requirement to test when a car reached ten years old.
I don’t reckon much to some garage servicing as you see many cars on the road where the lights have been maladjusted by someone and whilst the average lighting cover is in the front of the car, these cars have one light down on the road and other one shines right into your eyes.
The test is only as good as the person who carries it out.
It should stay at 3 years. Especially with the state of the roads in the UK now. If you don’t have a regular service and inspection done then you have no idea what is happening to your car so 3 years to the first MOT is about right. Safety has to come first. To change the period to 4 years to save people £45 is just ridiculous. Is that the price put on a life now ?
And I thought it was only the EU quangos that came up with wacky ideas.
It seems many posters are under the misapprehension that having a car serviced is a guarantee of it then passing an MOT test. You’ll be telling us next that the spare tyre must be legal. Some things are inspected during an MOT test that are not included in a service, especially a minor service. A simple example would be a delaminated number plate making the number difficult to read. That would result in an MOT fail, but isn’t even mentioned in a service book. Though a good garage should draw your attention to it. A chip in the winsdscreen in the drivers field of vision would be another example.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people present cars for an MOT with very simple and cheap to rectify faults such as a split wiper blade, blocked washer jet, a brake light out, etc.
(Former car repair business owner and used to present over 50 cars a year for test)
Make it tougher and start from day one rather than make it less safe for drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. Lengthening the untested period is the thin edge of the wedge. We don’t need to follow the USA where gas guzzling rust buckets carry on driving around until they fall apart.
Has anyone taken into account how many vehicles fail there first MOT. I think that all vehicles should be tested at least every twelve months irrespective of age. I would also like to see the Road Tax based on mileage. As the mileage is recorded on the MOT Certificate and sent to DVLA it should be possible for the DVLA to send out a Road Tax bill based on the previous years mileage.
Probably contrary to most I believe a ” Test” should be carried out annually. This should be carried put by the arrangement with the manufacturer for the first five (5) years. My reasoning:
1. As has been already stated many drivers do not do basic checks within the “warranty” period nor between MOTs. Yet a vehicle can be “illegal” to drive within one day of purchasing from new. Testing annually would at least pick up a good percentage of these faults.
2. Manufacturers are constantliy telling us how reliable and safe their vehicles are, more compulsory testing allows the collection of data giving them the opportunity tto substantiate these claims and or improve standards.
And finally, cost should never be a factor in safety.
The question that is not being asked is why it is not illegal to sell vehicles that do not have full fault identifying software with auto engine cut-out after a period of display. This will be essential when we move to the next stage of driverless vehicles.
Yes first MOT should be extended to the fourth year. New cars are so reliable and many come with 3 years free service. The hassle of arranging MOT and some of the false report of repairs can be avoided. People are inundated with unnecessary procedures and rules in the name of safety. Anything the government can do to reduce the burden on citizen is welcome.
The accumulative saving will be much more than the £50. More dealers will offer free servicing. They will advise motorists of these new cars on issues while servicing for free. No doubt independent MOT garages will find excuses for the loss of this lucrative business. I am sure they will find more business elsewhere to compensate.
This proposal to start MOT testing from 4 years has been suggested several times previously.
The Boy – Hammond as Transport Secretary called the idea as “a help to Motorists to reduce costs” .
The truth is that a 4 year from new test is to bring the UK in line with Europe.
BUT, this ignores the Third World rutted roads we all have to accept , and pay for the nil maintenance.
The continual daily damage to suspensions, tyres and wheels makes the 3 years from new MOT test critical for safety reasons.
The present administration are chasing headlines whilst doing the square root of bugger all!
The new Hs2 railway [ vanity project ] should be scrapped now, and all funding used to renew/ resurface the existing road system.
I think MOT’s should be more often, the state of some cars I see on the road S appalling, faulty or no lights, smoke pouring up the exhaust etc. It should be enforced by mileage, if average mileage is about 12k a year it should be a requirement very 12k miles. Taxis and commercial vehicles particulate because their mileage is far higher meaning more wear and tear and more risk than of baking unsafe.
Modern cars are 10X safer today than when the MOT was first started and many people use their cars less frequently and have very low mileage. Make the MOT frequency based on mileage, not age alone! Otherwise I think 4 or 5 years is at least a step in the right direction.
I bet a many of the people saying keep it at 3 years or reducing it further are in the motor services industry.
The majority of road accidents are caused by driver error rather that mechanical failure so the value of the MOT is the control of pollution rather than prevention of accidents. AS such I do not see that extending the MOT free period by 1 year will make any significant difference other than depriving garages of a MOT fee.
This will doubtless add to the problems caused by untaxed/uninsured vehicles now that there is no longer a paper tax disc to indicate compliance. Adding another year to the period before MOT is required might appear sensible given the increasing reliability of new cars but, this just means there is another year of escaping road tax and insurance because no one is checking everything is in order.
New cars come with a certain amount of years of warranty (mine was 3, when a I bought it in 2002), which are now probably a minimum of 3, but as I read here, often i5 or more. . . . .
The warranty is only valid if the car is serviced according to the prescribed requirements.
Any owner would be mad not to follow those requirements as that would invalidate their warranty!
Indeed, generally cars are so much better built now and safer then say 20 years ago.
Faulty lights can happen any time, including the day after passing an MOT test, and some cars have built in warning systems too (mine does for the indicators for example).
My car has done less than 70,000 in 15 years (thus less than 5k p/a); I used to get it serviced by the dealer/car maker during it’s warranty period (at vast expense), as that was 1 of the warranty conditions, but after that period I took it to my local non-specific garage, for a yearly service, check up and getting it prepared for it’s MOT.
It has always passed it’s MOT test first time!
Intermittently I check the lights (also for my own safety!), the tyrepressure (safety and fuel economy) and obviously always ensure there is sufficient water in the screen washer resorvoir…….(visibility: safety). Oil pressure is indicated on the dashboard. My garage/mechanic warns me if my tyres start to “wear thin”, so I replace them, as and when recommended (my own and my family’s safety are paramount).
Anything else (such as hand-brake/brakes discs, pads, fluid, etc…… rust, axels, steering, etc… ) does need to be flagged up a specialised/qualified person.
Responsible people are not the problem……….
I agree that the saving of the price of 1 MOT test is a ludicrous enticement, but if cars are so much safer now, than postponing the test to the end of the warranty period and/or possibly the Milage could play a more important deciding factor in the Test obligation.
Of course they also test for exhaust emission quality, which is a different issue!
Furthermore, and maybe more importantly, the MOT centres should be totally independently run and be managed by a separate official body (this is so in some other countries); not linked to ANY garage or service centre!
It’s up to you to check your tyres are legal and safe, once a year is not an option they should be checked weekly, for pressure, wear and damage, however good your mechanic is he cannot be responsible in between services.
As stated in the above report, most 4 year old cars should easily pass an MOT, especially if they have been regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic/garage.
Maybe the frequency and/or level of MOT inspections should increase with a cars age and/or mileage.
An extensive record of servicing could also be reviewed as part of any MOT check. This could be vulnerable to fraud, but would be an easy aid to most law abiding citizens.
I think the question to be asked if how many people are killed or injured because of a defect on the vehicle and compare that with statistical evidence to those killed and injured because of driver error. Particularly so when a driver over 70 (and even 100) can drive without having ever undergone a medical or even as much as an eye test to prove that they are fit to drive.
I think you will find the majority of people killed or injured on Britain’s roads are due to driver error, not because of defects of the vehicles themselves.
I spend a fair amount of time in Spain and they have a more reasonable approach to MOTs. The first MOT is at the 4th anniversary. Thereafter, the MOTs are every two years until a car is ten years old. After that they are every year. It makes sense when you consider the reliability of modern cars.
When the original MOT system was brought in, cars would rarely get beyond warranty without breaking down!
Cars today are manufactured a lot better, so I agree with the 4 year test. Or maybe it should also be on the mileage done by the vehicle. Obviously bearing, brakes etc wear with mileage not age.
My Audi A4 convertible is on a 2004, I do maintain my car and check things on a regular basis. So when Audrey goes for her mot she passes every time. That’s due to me maintaining her on a regular basis. I don’t wait for the brakes to grind to replace them, I check every month to see if they are ok.
If new cars had to pass the MOT then maybe there would be less of them with mis-aligned headlamps.
Contrary to popular belief an mot is only valid for the day it us carried out, so a faulty headlight or empty washers, or anything else could have passed on the day and failed two days later, as to comments RE the mechanic tells me when my tyres need changing, it is down to you the driver to check your car is safe to go out on the road. It will nit be the technician, or the mechanic that gets fined or has an accident because the tyres were bald. One extra year should make no difference to a new car reliability, services and regular checks prior to use are every bit as good,
I am surprised at the stated comment from Edmund King the new proposal could see an increase in the number of cars on the road with “faulty tyres and lights,” which an MOT would address, faulty lights can happen anytime, even the day after an mot, and the comment about tyres, they don’t give up after three years, it’s down to the driver to look at them occasionally. And monitor the wear and condition on a regular basis, they need to be responsible for their and others safety, nit leave it to the mot to pick up. Just like the people drive around in winter with a little peephole to see through instead of de icing properly before setting off.
Most new cars have a 3 year warranty, a condition of which is that it is serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Personally, I would credit the MOT, without further test, if a vehicle has been serviced in accordance with the manufacturers schedule and this should continue with say one independent check every 5 years. Since this does not usually include rolling road checks on brakes or light alignment checks, these would have to be included for the exemption to apply.
None of this exempts the driver, from normal daily and weekly checks and following up things that don’t work. How many cars do we see with lights not working or out of alignment, or windscreens that you can hardly see through or with chips or cracks.
Government MOT plan to make cars unsafe? Well that’s the first issue. The Government has no control over how safe any car is at any time. The only people who have any control over how safe a car is are the makers and the owners. How many times in recent history have we had major recalls by manufacturers where cars less than three years old have been found to have serious faults? It could be argued that the three year wait for having to take the MOT leads owners into a false sense of security. After all, unless your have an extremely vigilant garage/mechanic then they could miss something critical that does not fall under regular servicing. If you are relying on your mechanic to save you then you are misguided at best. The only person you can rely on ultimately is yourself. You are the one driving the car. If something feels wrong then get it checked. If something looks wrong, get it checked. The Institute of Advanced Motoring advocates visual vehicle checks every time you drive your car. I can tell you from my experience as a professional driver that there are no end of drivers out there who don’t check that their lights/indicators work at all and yes I have even seen drivers who drive at night with no lights on. So, far from extending the MOT to 4 years maybe the checks should be more often and more rigorous. As stated by a prior contributor, testing exhaust fumes while the vehicle is under load would catch more cars, esp diesel, who chuck out filth from the exhaust system would be one area where the existing test should be improved.
My particular pet hates are badly aligned headlamps, where one headlamp is not working and when drivers drive on sidelights instead of headlights. Cant do much about that in a MOT.
Ultimately all an MOT does is pull bad owners into line once a year.
Extending MOT Period is stupidity.
I believe that an MOT has been required after 3 years since it was first introduced & yet motor vehicles are becoming safer & more reliable all the time; some manufacturers offering as much as a 7 year warranty. My point is that recognising the improvements in safelty & reliability, isjust acknowledging changes that have taken place; not stupidity.
It would be interesting to ask VOSA (the MOT authority) how many cars fail their first MOT. If this is not an unreasonable number the change in period may be acceptable.