Major MOT changes delayed as consultation date pushed back

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The Department for Transport (DfT) has insisted that it will not be taking an immediate decision on the future of the MOT when the consultation closes. The DfT launched the MOT consultation in January and asked drivers and those within the industry for their opinions on a range of potential changes.

It was originally meant to come to an end on February 28, but the Government extended the consultation closing date today to March 22, 2023.

This included changing the date at which the first MOT for new light vehicles is required from three to four years and addressing the rise of electric vehicles.

The consultation is set to close next month, although the DfT will not immediately decide on any changes based on the results, according to the Independent Garage Association (IGA).

Stuart James, chief executive of the IGA, commented on the consultation and how any changes could impact drivers.

He said: “We appreciate the DfT being open about many of the questions raised and understand that cost implications for consumers and advances in vehicle technology are the main drivers behind this consultation.

“However, the UK’s roads are amongst the safest in the world, and we would like to believe that the Government would not make decisions that would cause any increase in road casualties.

“We believe it may have been more appropriate to break the consultation down into smaller subject areas to ensure that road safety will not be impacted by any of the many changes being considered.

“We will be working non-stop to ensure that road safety and the public are protected as the consultation progresses.”

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Undertaking roadworthiness testing four years since the vehicle’s registration is already standard practice across many European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

The average MOT costs £40 and the move could save motorists across Great Britain around £100million a year in MOT fees.

The consultation also seeks views on the frequency of MOTs and how to improve the monitoring of emissions to tackle pollution to bolster the environmental efficiency of vehicles.

Potential new measures include introducing testing of pollutants such as particulate number (PN) and NOx to ensure diesel, petrol and hybrid cars always meet emissions requirements throughout their lifespan.

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It also considers whether electric vehicles’ batteries should be tested to improve the safety and reliability of EVs and if additional measures should be introduced to tackle excessively loud engines.

The consultation also looks into how the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can continue to crack down against MOT and mileage fraud.

Reacting to the proposals, Edmund King, AA president said: “The MOT plays a vital role in ensuring that vehicles on our roads are safe and well maintained, and while not a formal recommendation, we totally oppose any change from an annual MOT.

“Last year, 83 percent of drivers said that the annual MOT was ‘very important’ for keeping our cars and roads as safe as possible, which highlights why an annual MOT must remain in place.

“With one in 10 cars failing their first MOT, we strongly discourage the government from extending a car’s first MOT to the fourth anniversary due to road safety concerns.

“When this proposal was last considered in 2017-18, the four-year policy did not obtain public support – with many citing concerns over vehicle safety as the main reason for opposing the move. 

“We do not believe this to have changed over time. Safety items like tyres and brakes can often be deficient after three years.

“However, there are aspects of this consultation which we support, such as ensuring the MOT is fit for purpose for the new technology in vehicles.”

Drivers wanting to respond to the consultation can do so before March 22 using the GOV.UK website.

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