Following the Chancellor’s announcement that he intends to consult on increasing the period before a car receives its first MOT test from three years to four, the Automotive Aftermarket Liaison Group (AALG) gathered to discuss how they can fight the proposition and defend the UK’s impeccable safety record.
The AALG, consisting of trade associations operating in the independent automotive aftermarket, believes that as the overall reliability of modern cars has improved, drivers may be unaware of vehicle faults such as worn tyres and brakes.
In 2011, a study carried out by over 25 organisations representing the interests of motorists and garages found that moving to a 4-1-1 system would result in 55 additional fatal accidents every year, and over 2,000 injuries, of which 338 would be serious.
Geoff Bates, AALG Chairman said: “With a failure rate of 22 per cent after three years, over a fifth of cars have problems but will be going another twelve months before an automotive professional looks at them.”
Stuart James, Independent Garage Association Director commented: “The condition of the UK’s roads are also deteriorating, with potholes and other road conditions more frequently damaging cars, which affects steering, tyres and other vehicle components.”
Lives will be lost
Sandy Burgess, Chief Executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association warned that such a change will will cause lives to be lost and more injuries to be suffered.
Burgess said: “Extending the period for the first mandatory testing and examination of the safety and emission related engineering and electronics on vehicles that are doing higher average miles per annum that ever before, is nothing more than political posturing to the extreme.”
Malcolm Tagg, Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association Director General suggested that an extension would be ill advised and that headline-grabbing announcements that such changes can save motorists large amounts of money are grossly misleading.
Tagg explained: “Not all of our members are directly involved in MOT work but they are all focussed on the wider need for safe, roadworthy vehicles.”
Sharing a concern of many, Dave Garratt, Chief Executive of the Garage Equipment Association commented: “It’s the high mileages driven today that’s a worry.
“Many cars used for business do over 40,000 miles per year; 160,000 before the first MOT is a risk.”
Wendy Williamson, Chief Executive of the IAAF notes that for motorists to truly save money and remain safe on our roads motorists must have their vehicle inspected and serviced regularly.
Williamson said: “Given that figures suggest one in five vehicles fail their MOT in the first three years and with new car sales at record highs, moving to an extended testing period would potentially cause more accidents and fatalities due to defective vehicles on UK roads.”
SMMT Director of Communications and International, Tamzen Isacsson said: “The Department for Transport’s own research has shown that decreasing the frequency of MOT tests would increase deaths and serious injuries.
“Motorists should see the MOT as a benefit, not a burden.”
Stefan Hay, Director of the National Tyre Distributors Association added: “The concern is how we would be able to ensure that vehicles remain in a safe condition in the event that the first test is postponed for a further year.
“With recent figures released by Tyresafe and Highways England showing that more than a quarter of all drivers had an unsafe illegal tyre on their vehicle, at the time they were replaced, we very much doubt it and believe this change would result in a further loss of control and a new and unacceptable high cost to society as a result of additional road traffic accidents which testing at the current frequency helps avoid.”
We are currently investigating how the independent sector can forward their concerns to government. Leave a comment below with your complaints about the proposal to extend the first MOT on new cars by a further 12 months.