Annual MOT could be scrapped, Transport Secretary suggests in bid to cut cost of living

Frequency of MOTs could be changed to every two years "to ease" the cost of living crisis

Annual MOT could be scrapped, Transport Secretary suggests in bid to cut cost of living
Image: Bigstock.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has suggested relaxing the frequency of MOTs to every two years, rather than one.

The suggestion came after Boris Johnson instructed ministers to suggest policies to ease the cost of living crisis.

The Prime Minister used a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday to brainstorm ideas with his ministers, producing a raft of blue sky proposals that will now be considered by a cost of living committee that he will chair.

One source who attended the Cabinet meeting told The Telegraph: “If we moved from an annual check to a check every two years, that is halving the cost of MOT renewal.

“That is a bread and butter policy that shows that the Conservatives are on your side.”

A reduction the frequency of MOT tests has been heavily criticised by motor industry experts.

Related: Plans to reduce MOT frequency hit with criticism

Stuart James, chief executive at the Independent Garage Association said: “In our opinion this whole plan is dangerous, unwanted and unreasonable.

“This proposal has been scrutinised at least four times that I have known of in the last 15 years, and every time it has been deemed detrimental to road safety.

“It is a fact that in times of economic hardship, motorists cut back on servicing their cars and it is the annual MOT that has kept the UK’s road safety at high levels thanks to the vital safety checks it carries out.

“Saving the cost of an MOT biannually is not worth the price of national road safety.

“This proposal will also fail to save motorists any money long-term as defects will go unnoticed for longer, which at best will cause more damage to vehicles and increase repair costs, and at worst cause unnecessary breakdowns and accidents.”

Related: Fears for road safety ahead of Northern Ireland biennial MOT consultation

A spokesman for AA said: “Though well intended, moving the yearly £55 spend on an MOT to every two years could make costs worse for drivers with higher repair bills, make our roads more dangerous and would put jobs in the garage industry at risk.

“Only recently the Government stepped away from switching the MOT to every two years on the grounds of road safety, while AA polling shows overwhelming support from drivers who like the security that an annual health check provides.

“The MOT now highlights major and dangerous defects too, showing how important it is to keep cars in a safe condition.”

RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The purpose of an MOT is to ensure vehicles meet a basic level of safety for driving on our roads.

“Shifting it from annually to every two years would see a dramatic increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles and could make our roads far less safe.”

It comes as Northern Ireland takes “the next steps” on a move to a biennial (every two years) MOT testing.

Share your concerns in the comments below.


  1. Only good thing would be for when you winding odometers back, gives you more time for haircut100

    Bad idea with every other car with rotten subframes and missing heatsheolds

    Who ever thought of it should go to jail if anybody killed or injured due to dangerous condition car

  2. We have recently seen the problems caused by extending the period between MOT tests, for example covid six months exemption ! as a test station the increase in dangerous failures was quite significant, the roll over effect of any extension will multiply this issue and result in a massive decline in road safety.

  3. If the government really wanted to give a worthwhile saving to the motorists they should reduce the fuel duty not put lives at risk with this farcical £1 a week saving on an MOT test!

  4. Sir,

    As transport minister, I wish to express my grave concern regarding the recent published news release regarding extending the MOT test two every two years
    as you are aware this was recently rejected due to road safety and I’m extremely concerned but the complement are now putting a price on road safety of £54 pounds

    as I own the busiest MOT testing station in the UK which is based in Lewisham in London and have done so for over 30 years, after working for DVSA for several years so I speak with experience and feel I need to make some serious points :

    1. Lets talk about employment before we talk about road safety, there are 80,000 mot testers in the UK and around 30,000 mot assistants
    testing 39,000000 vehicles on the public roads if you move towards 4-2-2 you will put around 55,000 people in to the unemployed sector
    pushing more people to the poverty line

    2. Safety !! currently over 30% of vehicles Fail its MOT Test on major or dangerous items, moving this to 2 yearly MOTS will increase this to 50/60%
    Fail rate and lead to more accidents, more emergency services attending accidents more insurance costs, and inevitably Road deaths
    I have a horror story set of pictures of vehicles and the defects that are already being driven on our road. I would encourage you to look at these!!
    You cannot put a cost on a person’s life But it seems that you feel that £27 pounds over a year is reasonable ?

    3. I would also like to take this opportunity for you to note that MOT tests have not increased their price in nearly 13 years I can assure you
    That £54 pounds yearly is value for money.

    4. Lastly as we move toward 2030 we move towards electric vehicles, I own an electric vehicle and as it does not need a service, and oil or filter change,
    I sparkplug change, an exhaust change, I have not been near a garage in the two years I have owned it, which means that vehicles are already NOT being looked at and the MOT test is the sole inspection that the vehicle gets once a year, peoples mindset is changing to the fact that they only need to take the car to a main dealer or repair shop when it stops, this in itself brings concerns regarding safety it should be noted but it’s only the MOT weird dangerous items will get picked up

    5. Road safety should not be tampered with or change, if you wish to make a mere 27 pound saving then you need to look at other considerations such as road tax of fuel relief, I can assure you the cost of police officers attending road accidents will cost far more than 27 pounds

    6. Please also note but 54 pound is the maximum a garage could charge there are main chains in the UK that charge far less than this, in fact halfords last year was giving you a free MOT if you spent one pound in the shop

    7. Please consider putting this ludicrous idea to bed, and think of other ways you could save the public money, safety should not be compromised in any way, just so your party can look as if they are doing something positive, please explain that to the persons family when they get killed by mechanical defect

    8. I was also a Police Officer with the roads policing unit for the Metropolitan Police, please take it first hand that I have seen fatal accidents from mechanical neglect and had to deal with the after mess and family’s.

    after the six-month extension through COVID to the MOT scheme fail rates increased considerably and defects became so serious but vehicles should not be driving on the road this was with just a six month extension to the current 12 months which did not affect every vehicle in the UK, and a majority was parked at home not being used even with that in mind the fail rate increased and vehicles with dangerous items

    I feel your flippant comments was said without consideration, and I seek to have a meeting with yourself or Vicky foxcroft my local MP so that I can
    lobby and give you some true facts and figures Andrew costs from the policing side as well as DVSA I’m the public side

    I will be putting out a press release ( as the busiest Mot Station in the uk ) with my concerns above
    Could I ask for some response from this email just so I know this is not put in the dustbin add ignored

    Vicky Foxcroft,

    Could I arrange a meeting with you as well and could I seek that this is lobbied in parliament?

  5. mot’s are the minimum requirements most people thinking that advisory are ok until next mot.roads Are so bad how many drivers know they have seriously suspension problems.the best way is to cut fuel tax.


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