Current MOT test structure to remain

With news that the structure of the UK’s MoT test for vehicles will remain in its current guise after plans for vehicles to be checked every two years were scrapped by Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, are we being too cautious about the intervals at which our vehicles’ roadworthiness is assessed?

RAC LINK: Annual MoT tests to be maintained

Currently, cars are tested after three years from the date of first registration, with a subsequent check every 12 months to ensure the vehicle is in a safe road-going condition.

With modern cars perpetually improving on reliability and longevity as a result of the increasing importance placed on these factors by manufacturers, a biennial MoT certificate surely wouldn’t be unfeasible.

After all, the original test, instigated in 1960 by the Ministry of Transport, only applied to vehicles over 10 years old. Cars were built far less solidly back then too. However, only seven years later, the MoT test was cut to the current three-year from new – and 12 months every year after – arrangement used today.

Over the years the test has got stricter, too. And as the development in road car technology and the importance of vehicle emissions have come to the fore, the statutory vehicle inspection has had to adapt to include provision for assessing these factors.

The latest round of revisions to the MoT examination – the biggest since the introduction of emissions testing in the early ‘90s - will include checks on stability control programmes, electronic parking brakes, vehicle steering locks and High Intensity Discharge headlights, all to reflect the growing complexity of modern vehicles.

The new additions to the test will surely prove good for safety, but as cars develop, becoming more reliable and safer with every generation of vehicle, the decision to continue the MoT test under its current 12-monthly review structure could arguably prove the test to be unnecessarily frequent.

At least the 2012 changes will see drivers saddled with less potentially confusing MoT paperwork and test certificates as the Department for Transport moves towards a more integrated digital system.

Do you think the frequency of the MoT test is correct as it stands?