The Independent Garage Association and National Franchised Dealers Association has strongly opposed a report published this week from The Adam Smith Institute which recommends the abolishment of the MOT test.
The report, which says the test is “outdated and unnecessary”, claims drivers would save £180 on average if the tests were no longer compulsory.
It also says ministers should put more resources into developing driverless cars which could save lives by eliminating driver error.
The report’s author, Alex Hoagland, said: “The UK has required MOT testing for decades in order to prevent crashes and fatalities from unreliable vehicles.
“Nowadays, vehicles are safer than ever, leading some governments to re-inspect these programmes.
“When these safety inspections were done away with in some US states, accident rates did not change.
“There’s no evidence that vehicle safety inspections improve vehicle safety.”
Sam Dumitriu of the Adam Smith Institute added: “MOT tests are meant to prevent crashes and save lives, but they’ve never been put to the test themselves.”
“A backward and dangerous step”
As well as scrapping the MOT completely, the report suggested an another option would be to reduce it to once every three years, or applying it only to vehicles which are at least five years old.
It also urged ministers to put more resources into developing driverless cars, which could save lives by eliminating driver error.
The AA has said calls to scrap the MOT “flies in the face of driver opinion”, with 94 per cent of motorists in a recent poll saying it was ‘very’ or ‘quite’ important to road safety.
AA president Edmund King said: “The MOT is appreciated by the vast majority of drivers and means that at least once a year, for cars over three years of age, there is an independent check on safety and vehicle emissions.
“It would be a backward and dangerous step to scrap it.”
“Outstanding value for money”
Stuart James, director at the Independent Garage Association, said: “The fact that the UK has one of the best road safety records in the developed world is testament to the quality of the MOT test.
“The report states that the average repair cost to get a car through its MOT is £143.
“This clearly indicates that a large number of vehicles are unroadworthy.
“Every fatality is one too many, and for an average price of £33, the peace of mind that this brings can only be perceived as outstanding value for money.”
“Unresolved basic wear and tear issues”
Sue Robinson, director at the National Franchised Dealers Association, said: “Without an MOT, customers would be likely to incur additional expenses due to the damage caused by unresolved basic wear and tear issues affecting items including light bulbs, brake pads, tyres, wiper blades, steering and emissions which need to be constantly checked and can easily escalate into more severe problems.
“In January, the government acknowledged that ‘data relating to accidents involving mechanical failure would improve testing at year three’ instead of four and we believe abolishing the MOT test could have potentially devastating road safety implications.”
Share your comments and any concerns below.