A car's roadworthiness should be tested when it is three years old, followed by annual testing as per the UK's current MOT system, according to three-fifths of motorists questioned by the IAM.
The survey revealed that a majority of drivers are happy with the three-one-one test cycle.
However, 29% are in favour of switching to a new European Union directive's minimum requirements of testing.
According to the directive, a car's first MOT should be carried out when it is no more than four years old, with subsequent tests after every two years - the four-two-two cycle.
In spite of the more stringent testing procedure in Britain, over a quarter (27%) of cars do not pass their first MOT, compared with 6% in France, where the EU directive is followed.
Simon Best, chief executive of the IAM, said: "In a time when people are struggling financially, the MOT seems to be one cost they are happy to pay. The IAM is wary of abandoning our well-established and accepted cycle of MOT testing. The poll suggests that most motorists are happy with it."
In addition to MOT tests, motorists should also make sure that a goodbreakdown cover is in place.
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