The Government’s latest proposal to increase the first MOT for cars and vans from three to 4 years ‘may put an extra 225,000 dangerous automobiles on Britain’s roads’ each 12 months, a brand new report warns.

The Department for Transport final month introduced a session to increase the first MOT on new cars by 12 months to assist save customers cash. It can also be discussing with business about altering the annual MOT thereafter to each two years.

However, Halfords says that information present that a median of 14 per cent of all automobiles at present fail their first MOT.

And with a median of 1.6million new motors hitting Britain’s roads yearly for the previous three years, it warns that nearly 1 / 4 of one million cars might be unfit to be used each year if first MOTs are delayed by 12 months.

Halfords estimates that extending first MOTs for cars and vans from three to four years 'could put an additional 225,000 dangerous vehicles on Britain's roads' annually

Halfords estimates that extending first MOTs for cars and vans from three to 4 years ‘may put an extra 225,000 dangerous automobiles on Britain’s roads’ yearly 

The DfT is arguing that advances in car expertise – resembling with electrical cars and lane-assisted driving – imply the annual MOT, which has been in place since 1960, is now not wanted.

Changing MOTs from the third to the fourth year after which biennially thereafter would put Britain according to the likes of Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal the place that is already widespread observe.

The Government claims extending check schedules will collectively save the nation’s motorists round £100million by paying for a car check-up as soon as each two years reasonably than yearly.

While this may be excellent news for customers, the adjustments might be disastrous for members of the UK motor business. 

An enormous discount in MOT income from annual checks may see many garages go bust, with the Government’s personal inside evaluation estimating that Britain’s 23,400 accepted check centres might be starved of as much as £123.6million a year. 


How typically ought to cars have an MOT?

  • Annually 54 votes
  • Biennially 168 votes

MOTs for cars are capped at a value of £54.85, with restore payments on high.

Drivers may be fined as much as £1,000 for utilizing a car with no legitimate MOT and it’ll additionally invalidate their insurance coverage.

The exams test a lot of components resembling lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes to make sure they meet authorized requirements.

The plan to make wholesale adjustments to check schedules has been described by motoring teams as the largest shake-up of MOTs for many years.

However, some have warned that it may finish the UK’s file for having a few of the most secure roads in Europe by growing the probability of cars, vans and motorbikes being pushed round with brakes and tyres which don’t meet minimal authorized necessities.

This would result in 1000’s of cars ‘turning into loss of life traps on wheels’, mentioned AA president Edmund King final month.

RAC’s head of roads coverage Nicholas Lyes mentioned the motoring organisation is not against delaying a brand new car’s first MOT however says there ought to be a requirement for notably excessive mileage automobiles to be examined sooner.

And the new evaluation of the DfT information by Halfords, discovering that 225,000 unfit cars may stay on the street for 12 months longer, exhibits that extending first MOTs from the third to the fourth year may end in a big rise in casualties and collisions.

Most widespread causes  for cars to fail an MOT 

1. Lighting and signalling (18.9%)

2. Suspension (13%) 

3. Brakes (10%)

4. Tyres (7.7%)

5. Issues affecting the driver’s view of the street (7.2%)

Source: RAC 

‘If the date of the first MOT is put again a year automobiles with worn tyres, defective brakes and different dangerous faults might be on the street for an additional 12 months earlier than these probably deadly points are recognized,’ the firm mentioned.

Graham Stapleton, CEO of Halfords, added: ‘The authorities is true to take a look at methods to avoid wasting motorists cash, however that can’t come at the expense of security.

‘There are different steps the Government may take to assist cut back the price of motoring, resembling extending the 5p-a-litre minimize on gas responsibility,’ he mentioned.

‘Many of the points noticed at the first MOT are straightforward and cheap to repair, but when left to fester they might flip into an costly restore, that means it might be a false economic system for a lot of motorists.’

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

Drivers may be fined as much as £1,000 for utilizing a car with no legitimate MOT and it’ll additionally invalidate their insurance coverage

Vehicle defects linked to 26 deaths on our roads a year 

The DfT’s newest street casualty figures present 26 folks had been killed in crashes in Britain in 2021 when car defects had been a contributory issue. 

Recent evaluation of official street security information additionally reveals that faulty and poorly-maintained automobiles had been a contributory consider a complete of 1,759 of all street casualties recorded that year – a rise of seven per cent on 2020 figures.

It uncovered that defective brakes had been by far the commonest defect sort, inflicting a complete of 750 casualties in 2021 and being one in every of the causes of 10 fatalities, based on authorities information.

Tyres had been the second commonest defect linked to accidents and had been amongst the contributing elements in 491 accidents.

However, worn and underinflated tyres had been mostly linked to inflicting deaths, with 12 folks needlessly dropping their lives in collisions involving automobiles with worn or unlawful rubber.

Faulty steering and suspension additionally contributed in direction of 255 casualties and had been linked to 6 fatalities in complete in 2021.

Contributory issue 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 unlawful, faulty or below 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 lacking mirrors 19 20 11 14 13 22 17 14 9 16
Overloaded or poorly loaded car or trailer 310 317 395 264 236 162 146 149 117 140
Source: Department for Transport Reported street casualties, by severity, street person sort and contributory issue, Great Britain, ten years as much as 2021 – All casualties

N.B. The complete defects is not going to match the sum of the itemised elements as some casualties can have a number of contributory elements



And Halfords says that extending MOT schedules could have a wider affect on drivers’ working prices and the atmosphere. 

Its analysis exhibits that poorly maintained engines, underinflated tyres and utilizing the improper motor oil ‘may price motorists a median of virtually £200 a year’ in extra gas use. 

Drivers of sunshine industrial automobiles might be burning as much as £1,000 price of gas unnecessarily, it estimated.

The firm additionally revealed that extra carbon emissions from poorly maintained petrol and diesel automobiles might be as excessive as 8.7 million tonnes per year.

UK automobile storage associations have met with DfT  

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) and Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) performed a gathering with the DfT and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to debate the MOT session final week.

During the assembly, the DfT had been requested why such a big and sophisticated session protecting 27 areas inside the MOT check was printed with solely a six-week response interval. 

They defined that ministers are ‘focusing on saving customers cash and wished to make use of the session as a possibility to guage if any areas of the MOT may contribute to additional financial savings’.

The DfT and DVSA has held meetings with the Independent Garage Association in England and Scottish Motor Trade Association to discuss extending MOT schedules

The DfT and DVSA has held conferences with the Independent Garage Association in England and Scottish Motor Trade Association to debate extending MOT schedules 

When requested how they deliberate to proceed with so many areas below assessment without delay, the DfT revealed there could be ‘additional consultations based mostly on the preliminary info and responses supplied’, and that no quick selections had been probably. 

They additionally shared that session responses submitted after the cut-off date on 28 February 2023 would nonetheless be thought of.

See also  MARKET REPORT: Demand for data centres boosts shares in Segro

When requested why the session couldn’t be carried out over a three-month interval, taking into consideration that no quick motion could be taken and additional consultations would observe, no response was given. 

However, they had been capable of verify that no laws adjustments will probably be applied from 1 April 2023, which was included inside their affect assertion.

Th IGA mentioned that every one events agreed to proceed working intently at each stage of the session course of to make sure that public security and the wants of the business are being totally thought of.

Stuart James, IGA chief government, mentioned: ‘We recognize the DfT being open about a lot of the questions raised and perceive that price implications for customers and advances in car expertise are the foremost drivers behind this session. 

‘However, the UK’s roads are amongst the most secure in the world, and we wish to imagine that the Government wouldn’t make selections that might trigger any improve in street casualties.

‘We imagine it could have been extra applicable to interrupt the session down into smaller topic areas to make sure that street security is not going to be impacted by any of the many adjustments being thought of. We will probably be working continuous to make sure that street security and the public are protected as the session progresses.’

Brief historical past of the MOT

1960: MoT check is launched. The identify derives from the Ministry of Transport which is now the Department for Transport. The check was initially required ten years after a car’s registration. From then on, MoTs had been carried out yearly. Important updates to MoT testing since 1960 have included:

1967: The time earlier than a car’s first check is decreased to a few years after registration.

1968: Checks on tyres launched.

1969: A brand new test on legally-required seat belts.

1977: Test now covers windscreen wipers and washers, indicators, cease lights, the horn, the exhaust system and the situation of the physique construction and chassis along with a extra detailed test on seat belts.

Nineties: New checks on exhaust emissions for petrol and diesel automobiles. Other totally different areas lined embrace anti-lock braking programs.

2005: A brand new computerised administration system for issuing check certificates.

2012: Checks on ‘secondary restraint programs’ resembling a car’s airbag, the battery and wiring, digital stability management, the speedometer and steering lock.

2017: Change in historic automobiles’ MoT exemption from all pre-1960 automobiles being lined to a rolling 40-year exemption.

2018: Three new defect classes launched: minor; main; dangerous. The two latter defect sorts mechanically leads to a failed check. 

Some hyperlinks on this article could also be affiliate hyperlinks. If you click on on them we might earn a small fee. That helps us fund This Is Money, and hold it free to make use of. We don’t write articles to advertise merchandise. We don’t enable any industrial relationship to have an effect on our editorial independence.

Categorized in:

Tagged in: