George Osborne’s emergency Summer Budget announced a number of changes for road users, including some relating to tax and one key major change, an increase of four years for all MOTs on new cars, rather than the standard three years, from 2017. Whilst this may impress many people looking to buy new cars as they can avoid the stress of an MOT a little longer, many industry bodies and related companies and associations have come out to express their worry, citing road safety as the reason for their concern.
The MOT Test is traditionally an annual test of vehicle safety for older models of car (vehicles over three years old) but newer models don’t currently need to be tested until they reach that third year. This is now changing to every four years and there are fear from different sectors of the motoring industry about how this will affect our roads.
The National Tyre Distributors Association immediately issued their press release describing the proposal as flawed and highlighted their plan to challenge the measure on the grounds of road safety. This is in line with news and research from the past five years which has shown that millions of MOTs are failed due to tyre issues and the NTDA has been working for years to change regulations in relation to legal tyre requirements to make them safer. The Director of NTDA described the new proposal as something that causes ‘a genuine concern’ and they are hoping to look for ways to look at changing MOT on different measures such as mileage rather than age.
Backing up the objection of the NTDA, the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) has also stated its strong opposition to the changes to the MOT. They have highlighted that they believe the change could only cause harm to the road safety record in the UK. Speaking on behalf of RMI their director Stuart James said that motorists ‘they understand that roadworthiness testing of vehicle is an important part of making our roads among the safest in Europe’ and the RMI went onto say that a car with average mileage is significantly more likely to be driving on unsafe and worn tyres and brakes after four years in comparison to three and extending the period before MOT therefore can see failures of many car components such as shock absorbers, before the MOT comes up.
Modern cars are so reliable that many motorists do not notice when there is a fault and this can become dangerous and even more so if roadworthiness testing is set back a further year. As a company working with the victims of road traffic accidents on a daily basis, we want to see safer roads and safer vehicles, not the opposite.