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Plans for cars to have first MoT after four years branded "dangerous"

Government plans for new cars to require their first MoT after four or five years instead of three have been met with criticism

MOT

The automotive industry has spoken out against Government proposals to change the MoT system, branding the idea “dangerous”.

A Department for Transport (DfT) consultation has asked whether a ‘4-1-1’ MoT system should be adopted. This would see new cars requiring their first MoT after four – or even five – years instead of three, with tests then continuing on an annual basis after that.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) commissioned a survey of 1,784 drivers, asking for their thoughts on the proposals. Some 67 per cent said they were concerned that extending the period after which the first MoT is required would put lives in danger, while 74 per cent said the typical MoT cost of between £35 and £45 is a price worth paying to ensure their car is roadworthy.

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The DfT has estimated that the 4-1-1 MoT system would save drivers £91million and £117million per year, but 87 per cent of respondents said they would prefer an alternative way of saving money, such as a reduction in vehicle excise duty or fuel duty.

High failure rate for first MoTs

The SMMT highlights that more than 300,000 new cars fail their first MoT test each year, with safety issues often arising in relation to tyres, brakes, lights and suspension. The organisation’s research suggests 23, 19 and 17 per cent of drivers don’t check the condition of their brakes, tyres and lights respectively on a regular basis. Meanwhile, 66 per cent of those surveyed said they wouldn’t buy a three-year-old car without an MoT.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “Safety is the number one priority for the automotive industry and the MoT is a crucial component in keeping the UK’s vehicles and roads safe. Our survey shows that drivers support the existing MoT frequency and that there is little appetite to change it, despite the increased cost of living.

“If changes to the MoT are to be made, these should enable testing of advanced electrified powertrains, driver assistance technologies and connected and automated features, as drivers value the peace of mind the MOT offers.”

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has responded to the DfT’s consultation and also opposes the plans. Its chief executive, Stuart James, commented: “Based on the research and member feedback compiled when writing our consultation response, it is clear that any changes made will impact road safety far more than the Government anticipates.

What are your thoughts on the idea of requiring a car's first MoT after four years? Let us know in the comments...

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