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‘Madcap’ MoT test changes kicked into touch

The Government cans its plan for two-yearly MoT test, but says diesels could face tougher scrutiny

Mot testing centre sign

The Government’s proposed changes to MoT rules that would have made testing compulsory every two years instead of annually have been scrapped. There will, however, be an ongoing investigation into whether tests for diesel car emissions should be made more stringent.

A Department for Transport consultation on the proposals was launched in January 2023 by then transport secretary Grant Shapps MP, who suggested that technological advances and the reducing proportion of newer cars failing the test meant it was appropriate to consider extending the annual MoT test to two years, and bumping the due date of the first test from a car’s third birthday to its fourth.

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However, the idea received short shrift from drivers, and AA chief executive, Jakob Pfaudler, has welcomed the confirmation that the changes have been canned. He commented that AA polls showed that 83 per cent of drivers supported an annual MoT for keeping their cars and other cars safe. “With 1 in 10 cars failing their first MoT, we fully support the government’s pragmatic decision to maintain the first MOT at 3 years and annually thereafter,” Pfaudler said.

The RAC has also welcomed the Government’s decision to ditch plans for what it called ‘madcap’ proposed changes to the testing regime. “This would have seriously compromised road safety and ended up costing drivers more money rather than less as it was supposed to do, due to dangerous issues going undetected and getting progressively worse. This is why the idea was so widely unpopular with the motoring public in our research,” said Simon WIlliams, head of policy at the motoring organisation.

While there won’t be any changes to MoT test scheduling, the DfT is looking at longer-term technical changes to the test - in particular, it says it is exploring more effective testing for diesel particulate emissions.

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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