Biggest shake up of the MOT test for 50 years proposed

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The Department for Transport and DVSA are considering extending the length of time before a new car must be submitted for its first MOT by a year

At present, a new motor vehicle must have its first MOT test three years after purchase, but new guidelines could mean this will be extended to four. This would be the first change in legislation since 1967, in a move which the government anticipates could save £100 million annually.

This is good news for drivers, but members of the repairs industry are unhappy with the proposals which could see UK garages incurring a loss in income, and therefore a threat to jobs.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones commented: “We have some of the safest roads in the world and MOT tests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles on our roads.

“New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago and so it is only right we bring the MOT test up-to-date to help save motorists money where we can.”

The proposals would bring England, Scotland and Wales in line with Northern Ireland and many other European countries.

According to government figures, the last 10 years have seen the number of three or four-year-old cars involved in accidents where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor fall by almost two thirds, from 155 in 2006 to 57 in 2015.

The MOT test consists of checking a number of parts of the vehicle including lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment, steering and suspension, brakes, tyres, seat belts, structure and exhaust. However, according to the DVSA, the most common reason for cars to fail their first tests is faulty lamps.

Carrying out simple checks and maintenance on your vehicle regularly could ensure your cars safety and save you money in the long term.

Ministers are now considering the parameters of this new proposed legislation – if the law will simply be applied to all road vehicles, or if there will be restrictions on non-commercial vehicles or vans. The outcome is expected in 2018.

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