The Government’s latest proposals to shake up the MoT test could see new cars going four years before having their first examination – up from the current three.
The change could be introduced in 2018 following a public consultation. Northern Ireland and many European nations already have a four-year rule in place. The Department for Transport (DfT) claims that improved manufacturing means new vehicles stay roadworthy for longer.
It says that figures showing the annual 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. The change would also apply to motorcycles.
However, cars and motorcycles made before 1960, goods vehicles powered by electricity and tractors do not need an MoT, and this classic exemption is also under the microscope at the moment. More than 2.2 million cars each year require a first test, at a maximum cost of £54.85, with motorists facing a fine of up to £1000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MoT.
In November, a poll for the AA of more than 19,000 drivers suggested 44 per cent were in favour of MoTs after four years, while 26 per cent were opposed, and a third did not have a view either way. AA President Edmund King said: ‘The benefits are that there will be cost and time savings for drivers, while the downside is that we are likely to see some more cars with faulty tyres and lights slipping through the net.’