First MOT test to remain at three years

Respondents were overwhelmingly against the idea of the test being conducted less frequently

First MOT test to remain at three years
Photo: Bigstock

Ministers have decided that motorists will still take the first MOT test three years after buying their new car.

This comes as the government publishes its response to the consultation launched a year ago on updating MOT testing for cars, motorbikes and vans.

The government received 4,489 responses, of which 76.16 percent (3,419) were from individuals and 23.84 percent (1,070) were submitted on behalf of an organisation.

Of these, an overwhelming 83.58 percent (3,735) were in favour of the first MOT test remaining at three years, with 9 percent (402) favouring a move from three to four years, and 6.74 percent (301) believing a shift to five years would be a good move.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) says it will continue to work with the Department for Transport (DfT) to ensure that the MOT continues to be fit for the future.

It also says it will share more information about the feedback received in the call for evidence, and how the organisation will take it forward with DfT.

Response from the industry

Stuart James, chief executive of the IGA:

“We are pleased that the government has listened to our concerns and opted to retain the three-year time period to first MOT. Public safety is paramount, and the decision aligns with our commitment to protecting motorists by ensuring the continued effectiveness of MOT testing in identifying potential safety issues as early as possible.“

James added: “The IGA looks forward to contributing to discussions on the future of MOT testing and other reforms. Our commitment to promoting road safety and protecting consumers remains unwavering, and we will actively participate in shaping policies that benefit both motorists and the industry.“

Roads minister, Guy Opperman:

“We have listened to drivers and industry, and keeping MOTs in their current form shows once again that we are on the side of motorists.

“By offering clarity on MOT tests, alongside our recent street works consultation and unprecedented £8.3 billion to resurface roads, we are helping motorists drive with peace of mind and ensuring Britain’s roads continue to be some of the safest in the world.“

Neil Barlow, head of vehicle policy at DVSA:

“Ensuring the MOT remains fit for the future is a key part of DVSA’s work and getting ready for new technology will help keep Britain’s roads safe.

“We hope, this positive news will provide some certainty for garages to enable the investment in new technologies that could be needed to keep the MOT at the forefront of road safety and the environment.“

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive:

“Government and the automotive industry have worked together to ensure the UK has some of the world’s safest roads. The decision to retain the existing MOT system is the right one, helping maintain this proud record and giving drivers confidence in car and van roadworthiness.

“With vehicle technology continuing to evolve at pace in terms of both safety and environmental performance, we will maintain this collaboration with government and other stakeholders so that the MOT continues to be fit for purpose, helping Britain improve what is already a strong road safety record.“

Kevan Wooden, LKQ UK and Ireland CEO:

“This is a fantastic outcome for UK road users and the aftermarket. We lobbied hard alongside our industry partners to push back against the proposed changes on the grounds that they would put the UK’s hard-won reputation for road safety at risk, endanger our national net zero ambitions and increase costs to motorists.

“And this is without mentioning the impact it would have had on work volumes in the aftermarket. As with Block Exemption, we have once again shown the impact the industry can have when it comes together to push for what’s right.”

Simon Williams, RAC head of policy:

“It’s great news the madcap idea of changing the MOT from every year to every two has finally been consigned to the bin. This would have seriously compromised road safety and ended up costing drivers more money rather than less as it was supposed to do, due to dangerous issues going undetected and getting progressively worse. This is why the idea was so widely unpopular with the motoring public in our research.

“We look forward to hearing more from the government on how the MOT will evolve in the future, both to accommodate the rising number of electric cars on our roads and improve the monitoring of dangerous emissions from combustion engines. We would also like to see the test change to help reduce the prospect of glare from headlights, as this is something the DVSA has previously said garages can find difficult to assess.”

Nicholas Lyes, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and standards:

“An MOT gives drivers confidence their vehicle is conforming to minimum roadworthiness standards and many see it as an essential technical health check. Well-maintained vehicles make our roads safer and reduce the chances of collisions caused by worn-out parts and more serious defects.

“We welcome the government listening to drivers and prioritising both road safety and emissions as part of this package of announcements.“

Jakob Pfaudler, AA CEO:

“AA polling showed drivers overwhelmingly (83 percent) supported the annual MOT for keeping their cars and other cars safe. With one in ten cars failing their first MOT, we fully support the government’s pragmatic decision to maintain the first MOT at three years and annually thereafter.

“The measures follow last week’s proposals to tackle overrunning street works from utility companies and the biggest ever funding boost of £8.3 billion to resurface over 5,000 miles of local roads in England, as the government continues to be on the side of drivers and improve journeys for more people, in more places, more quickly.“

Hayley Pells, policy lead at the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI):

“We welcome the government’s commitment to maintaining the first MOT at three years and annual testing thereafter. This aligns with our findings on the importance of regular checks for road safety and vehicle maintenance.

“The decision to further explore modernising tests for electric and automated vehicles is a positive step towards addressing the unique challenges and advancements in vehicle technology. We also appreciate the focus on diesel emissions, which is crucial for environmental concerns.

“The conclusion of the consultation also underscores the need for ongoing adaptations in MOT testing to keep pace with rapidly evolving vehicle technologies and environmental considerations.”

Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA):

“We are pleased that the Government has heeded the points outlined in NFDA’s consultation response and has made the decision today to maintain the first MOT test at three years rather than increase it to four, as was proposed.

“This announcement is extremely positive for our members and consumers. In the consultation, NFDA largely expressed our concerns for motorists’ safety and stressed the importance of vehicle safety and maintaining the UK’s leading safety record in roads.

“NFDA will continue to work closely with the Government as it seeks to establish a programme of longer-term reform for MOTs and looks to explore modernising the test for electric vehicles.”

Mark Field, IAAF chief executive:

“Plans to extend the first test from three to four years have been met with the full power of the entire automotive industry including motorists, who have been united in their view that extending the test frequency risks driver safety.

“Every argument put forward to change the date of the first test has been overcome. An extended test won’t save motorists money and will in fact generate higher bills from worsening, unchecked problems. While it is right to consult on modernising the test process, the debate over the test frequency, the third in over a decade, should never be on the table.”

Click here to read the consultation response in full.

1 Comment

  1. Now this has been sorted out when are they going to increase the MOT price we started MOT’S for motorcycles in 2010 we are now in 2024 and there has been no price increase since we first started .
    Why are we being treated this way .


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