Drivers reject plans to extend MOT-free period for new cars

Drivers reject plans to extend MOT-free period for new cars
A bid to extend the period before a new car legally requires an MOT has been shelved, the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed.

The proposed extension – from three to four years – could have spared UK drivers in excess of £100 million a year in test fees.

But fewer than half of the drivers involved in a public consultation supported the change, with safety fears dominating the responses.

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Vehicle parts, such as lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes are all checked during the MOT test, to ensure they meet legal standards.

As well as quick-fix repairs, the tests highlight emerging problems which can be treated with preventative care.

The maximum test fee for a car is £54.85 while a standard motorcycle test is £29.65. Motorists can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

Increasing the initial grace period to four years would have brought Britain into line with Northern Ireland and many other European countries including France, Spain and Italy.

But the plans were cut short, after the public voiced its fears over an increased risk to road users. Respondents to the DfT survey voted overwhelmingly to maintain the “status quo”, says Neil Greig, director of policy and research at driving charity IAM RoadSmart.

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RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “We believe that the Government’s decision to stick with the first MOT being at three years is the right decision and one which will be welcomed by the majority of drivers and road safety campaigners.

"Our RAC breakdown data suggests that for the majority of vehicles, it would have been reasonable to move the date of a first MOT test from three to four years.

"However, for high-mileage vehicles, four years was too long before the first MOT and therefore it made sense to 'keep it simple' and retain the current three year arrangement.”

Once a vehicle’s initial three-year period is over, as well as an annual MOT regular servicing is one of several sure-fire ways to make your car last longer.

It is also a legal requirement that vehicles are roadworthy, regardless of whether they have passed an MOT.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.