Government introduces consultation on MOT period for new vehicles

Posted on: 16 May 2017

Industry News icon

New Government consultation could see the time allowed before a vehicle’s first MOT extended from three to four years.

In an attempt to save the public money, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are considering new proposals which would extend the time period before a first MOT is needed for a new vehicle. More than 2.2 million cars each year have to undergo their first MOT test, which costs owners a maximum of £54.85.

The consultation came about from the DfT’s claims that improvements to manufacturing and technology mean that vehicles remain roadworthy for longer. Figures show that the number of three and four-year-old cars involved in accidents, where a vehicle defect was said to be a contributory factor, has fallen from 155 in 2006 to 57 in 2015.

Allianz survey suggests the proposed changes could be dangerous to road users

However, the roadworthiness of a vehicle depends on many factors beyond how old it is. These factors include things such as mileage and driver behaviour, which can have a huge impact on the condition of a vehicle. It is therefore not safe to assume that a vehicle is roadworthy simply based on its age.

A survey recently conducted by Allianz revealed that 51% of people did not think it was a good idea to lengthen the time period, due to the implications for road safety. Instead, a huge 82% believe the MOT should happen when a car hits a certain mileage. The results also showed that 22% of people know a friend or family member whose vehicle has failed at the three year mark. 

Jonathan Dye, head of motor insurance at Allianz UK, commented: 

We believe the MOT helps reduce accidents because it focuses on making sure a vehicle is roadworthy and safe to be driven. Delaying the first MOT could mean that a vehicle is still on the road with, for example, either defective brakes or tyres. High mileage cars and commercial vehicles will be particularly at risk. Servicing could mitigate some of the issues but it isn’t as robust as a legal requirement to maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition."                                

Furthermore, the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) suggests that there will be an additional 400,000 un-roadworthy vehicles on the road if the move from three to four does take place. 

Subject to the outcome of the public consultation, the changes could come into effect in 2018.

Find out more 

More information on the proposed change can be found on the Gov UK website.