Plan to delay first MOT test for cars is scrapped

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A government idea to change a car's first MOT from three years to four has been ditched due to safety concerns

A mechanic repairing a car in a garage

Plans to push a vehicle’s first MOT from three years to four have been put on the backburner following a government consultation.

Most of the responses were against the proposal, first put forward in June last year, on the grounds of safety.

Government figures showed a decrease in the number of three or four-year-old cars involved in accidents, over a 10-year period, where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor.

But respondents to the plan argued motorists’ savings were outweighed by the risk to road users and the test often highlights upcoming issues affecting a vehicle. A public survey for the Department for Transport also showed fewer than half of people were in favour of the change.

The proposal would have brought England, Scotland and Wales in line with Northern Ireland and many other European countries.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, and are always looking at ways of making them safer.

“Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MOT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.

“We are looking at further research to ensure the MOT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.”

By law, all vehicles must be roadworthy, regardless of whether they have passed an MOT, and the content of the tests will not be changed.

The test was introduced in 1960, requiring vehicles to undergo a first check after 10 years. It was changed in 1967 to three years.

More than 2.4 million cars had their first MOT test in 2016 (the most recent figures available), which costs owners a maximum of £54.85. The pass rate was about 85% and the most common reasons for failure include lighting, tyres and braking faults.

If your car is coming up to its MOT, make sure you’ve carried out a few easy DIY car maintenance jobs before taking it to the garage – it could save you time and money.

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