Plans to reduce MOT frequency hit with criticism

Annual MOT could be scrapped in favour of testing every two years, Transport Secretary suggests in bid to cut cost of living

Plans to reduce MOT frequency hit with criticism
Hayley Pells, owner of Avia Autos and IAAF garage section head.

Plans to relax the frequency of MOT tests to help ease the cost-of-living crisis have met strong criticism from across the motor industry.

The UK Alliance for the Freedom of Car Repair (UK AFCAR), which is made up of trade associations and commercial organisations who share common concerns about the UK Aftermarket, has called on the UK government to shelve any such proposals that reduce road safety and lead to an actual increase in car repair and maintenance costs.

Mark Field, chief executive at the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) and chairman of UK AFCAR said: “Each time the MOT test frequency has been called into question, it has been proven beyond doubt that extending the test frequency would actually mean an increase in repair costs for drivers, insurance premiums and harmful emissions, as well as reducing road safety as there will be an increase in defective vehicles on UK roads.

“It would also be a significant blow to thousands of independent garages and the entire automotive supply chain, who were able to remain open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring the safe and affordable mobility of essential workers and members of the public.”

DVSA data shows that one in vehicles presented for an MOT test fail and 30 per cent of those fail on brakes, a safety critical component.

Related: Motorists set to cancel breakdown cover amid cost-of-living crisis

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) warns that the “dangerous” plan would fail to save motorists any money long-term and would actually increase costs long-term.

Stuart James, IGA chief executive 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 biennially is not worth the price of national road safety.”

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps suggested relaxing the frequency of MOTs to every two years, rather than one after Boris Johnson instructed ministers to suggest policies to ease the cost of living crisis.

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

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.

Hayley Pells, owner of Avia Autos and IAAF garage section head said: “It is surprising, given the decision to end the six-month extension during the pandemic prematurely, when it was actively demonstrated how important this cost-effective check is to road safety, that this VAT-free inspection is considered as poor value for money.

“In order to maintain the legal obligation of the motorist for road worthiness, the only option would be a VAT-applied solution.

“I question if this is of better value to the motorist and have concerns regarding the safety of more vulnerable road users.”

Related: DBS checks to be introduced for new and returning MOT testers

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 after a recent Call for Evidence saw some 85 per cent of individual respondents vote in favour of an introduction of biennial testing.

Share your concerns in the comments below.

30 Comments

  1. Yeah average mot bill yearly £300. Every two years £600 or beyond economic repair if merc or honda and subframes gone rotten

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  2. I think it is a stupid idea to go to 2 year mot , the vehicles I get in here each year for mot and service with wires hanging out of tyres brakes worn to wafer thin lights not working, the driver obviously has no idea , nearly all say it drives okay so there can’t be anything wrong, I’m sure the majority of cars do not come in other than for an mot test, or when the radio won’t turn up anymore to deaden the noise of a worn wheel bearing.

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  3. Once again this change in MOT test frequency comes to the surface apparently to help the average driver save money well we all know that is is a recipe for drivers to end up in unsafe cars with higher costs in the end.
    The MOT test is a mandatory check on safety & emissions changing frequency of this is a short sighted plan drivers will try to save money by not servicing their cars & then they will not have to have a MOT test annually the state of some cars are only found on MOT tests need I say more ?

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  4. You would have thought they would have learnt from the abnormal amount of failures following the Covid extension, absolutely ridiculous to even consider this again!

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    • If they really want to help cut the price of road tax or fuel would but this will take off the government where as changing the mot won’t effect their coffers at all. They are only thinking of themselves policital tactics voting times are coming around. They are all so out of touch living in their bubble career politicians never had a real job. We need a transport minister who has worked in transport or motor trade. A health minister who has worked in the health service and so on. A reshuffle will see all change.

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  5. Perhaps the Transport secretary ought to come out of his office and see for himself the horrors of some vehicles. As some have already mentioned wafer thin brakes, wire hanging out of tyres, suspension hanging by a thread. The saving a year is putrid and won’t make any difference to the cost of living, it is actually going to cost more in lives. Utterly ridiculous suggestion.

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  6. Stupid plan with some of the horrors I see through the workshop safety will go out of the window.

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  7. Changing annual mot’s to every 2 years I cannot explain how ridiculous and dangerous this is. Can you even imagine the impact after with more deaths, casualties and accidents on the road, then insurance companies refusing to pay out because car wasn’t in a road worthy condition!!!
    In fact the simplest way for drivers to actually save money is to have their cars regularly serviced as required, because having this proactive approach instead of reactive actually reduces your car costs in the long run. Why wait for it to go wrong? An then cost more.
    By the way, it’s funny how the government want to change the frequency of MOT tests which on average is around £40 a year (depending where you live) BUT THEY WONT REDUCE THE TAX AN VAT AT THE FUEL PUMPS WHICH COULD SAVE THE MOTORIST THOUSANDS EVERY YEAR. How’s that for easing the cost of living crisis???

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  8. I think the independent industry needs to be lobbying the government. With electrification I think 70% of our revenue will be lost now extending the MOT test to 2 years will see alot of garages close. I think the independent garages should by seeking compensation if this is the case

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  9. As usual a numb-nut politician comes up with a hair-brained scheme that is supposed to save motorists £55.00 per year (£1.06 a week!). Not only is this supposed saving miniscule (15p per day) but it is based on garages being able to charge the full recommended price whereas most only charge between 50% – 75% of this figure due to market forces making the supposed saving even more pathetic.
    Putting aside the immeasurable anguish caused by the death and injury caused by un-safe vehicles causing accidents, there is also the increased insurance costs motorists will have to endure, not to mention the further burden on the NHS who we are constantly told are over-subscribed (due to under-funding) as it is anyway.
    Why are these politicians unable to see the blindingly obvious?

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  10. So why not cut vat or fuel or yes even stop road tax duty . nope the mot station gets hit again, no increase in mot fee for 10 years, new connected equipment investment needed 6 month exemption was introduced , the government has devalued the mot.. pushing its poor performance on the motor industry who will still have 6 month and yearly calibrations owners will run dangerous cars then scrap them come mot time only the main dealer will benefit, does the government understand mot testers and garages have had there costs increased time to move trade or retire i wont spend any money on equipment so the equipment suppliers will close too a world run by fools whoes every bill is an expense which they claim back form the tax payer

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  11. The government will have police issue more on spot fines for dangerous vehicles , and make millions from the motorist, garages will lay staff off and testers will move trades the independent garage is finished in my view

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  12. Saving the customer £27 a year. Fantastic job Grant. Also gives customers time to save up for those tyres which are only bald and not quite through to the metal. Unfortunately, the £1000 fine and 3 points are going to hurt, but congrats, that £27 saving will keep people off the breadline. I’d rather Mr Shapps focused his energy on the unanswered issues surrounding electrification. They really are a bunch of buffoons in government at the moment. #clueless

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  13. If the government thinks saving £54.85 a year will help with the cost of living so basically just over £1 per week they are sadly deluded. Some of the cars we see at MOT time are dangerous if they are left for another year someone will die. I dont think anyone who has to bury theyre son , brother daughter mother or father or any family member will thank they for saving them £1 a week.
    Absolutely disgraceful

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  14. Grant Shapps the Transport Secretary is a complete and utter idiot, with no conception of anything to do with either transport or vehicle safety. The man that is continually pushing “smart motorways”is not fit for purpose in his position. Most of my employees in the garage are more intelligent and hugely more capable than him, and THAT is worrying!!!!

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  15. How many serious accidents caused by defective vehicles which would have been picked up on during annual test can we get away with .
    This is what government playing with right now .
    Looks good where saving public money .
    Its crazy world at moment.

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  16. ridiculous idea.severely risk road safety to save people money which they will have to find the following year only it will have doubled. Better idea would be to nil the vat charged to the customer for car repairs. money saved cars safe. win win

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  17. This is unbelievable. Road Safety should be paramount, the amount of vehicles we get coming through our doors which are unsafe, tyres, brakes and suspension components failing their MOT’s. The state of the roads add to a lot of cars encountering additional problems. From the Covid extension we saw a dramatic increase in dangerous vehicles remaining on the roads. This is not a saving for the consumer, they will have more than double the costs in repair bills. Also it will be a catalyst for insurance companies to reject claims from motorists as there will be a clause stating that their vehicle should have been maintained to a roadworthy condition. These white collar workers should come out of their offices and spend a day in a workshop – seeing with their own eyes exactly what comes through the door.

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  18. Complete lunacy again. This has already been said but safety & lives will be sacrificed for vote grabbing headlines. The politicians do not see, understand or care about vehicle safety, it is not a part of their lives. They say it will benefit the had pressed ‘people’ – Are we not people? This industry is on it’s knees and garages will fail in droves if this is actioned. Oppose this change by communicating with your MP now.

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  19. Unfortunately my local (Conservative) MP seems only interested in blatantly toeing the party line and enforcing whatever fool-hardy schemes Blundering Boris and his cronies put forward. He also seems very keen to get pictures of his face in local papers & on social media by adding his name to perceived ‘important local issues’ instead of dong something really useful.

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  20. If the idiots want to cut the cost of living cut the price of fuel duty and road tax because lets face it the road tax is’nt spent on road repairs is it,moving over to two year testing is absolutely ridiculous people dont check there oil and tyre pressures so they would’nt check the state of there tyres or lights if the car didnt tell them to do so.You know what they’ll say when the first accident happens through a faulty tyre or brakes we’ll learn from it no good when someone dies because of it.

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  21. the panel ,board or who ever dreamed this up obviously are not in the real world, and must run about in new cars ,probably what we the tax payers are funding , so a car with 3/4 worn brakes or tyres
    how does the mot tester tell/advise the motorist that in a certain time the car would be dangerous,the advisory section of the mot would be pointless,within 12 months can be too long !

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  22. People forget their MOT Test after 1x year & require loads of work & big bill can you imagine 2 years forget even longer & probably unable to afford repairs?
    Very stupid idea safety wise & wont save people money?
    If the government are that worried about saving people money why don’t they halve the MOT fee & keep it every year??
    Its so simple it hurts. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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  23. Saving 50P a week for the hard pressed motorist by damaging our industry and giving the Multi national insurance industry an excuse to put the premiums up to cover the extra risk of cars with worn tyres, brakes wipers and blown light bulbs etc. great idea Boris & co! Bunch of completely dishonest people running the country! The loss in VAT for the repairs needed to pass a test alone will cost far more to the tax payer than this stupid idea, will save the man on the street. Electric cars moving the exhaust pipe from the back of the car to the power station, giving the energy companies even more profit is bad enough this has to stop. Please everyone write to your MP and watch how they deal with your protest, I am sure mine will go in the bin as ours is a Boris lap dog, but write to him I will.

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  24. I don’t believe as a manager of a MOT centre that this would be beneficial to the industry neither the motorist as it is not safe neither compliant with road safety standards. This will create more accidents on the roads as well as a Danger to other motorists and road users

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  25. I take it you don’t run or own a garage then ! The costs run in to thousands ££££ before you open the door s .

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  26. Robert uzzell The MOT Test Fee goes to the Garage who conducted it ! NOT government !!! Their proposals take MONEY 💰💰💰 out of our pockets . they have already been paid £ the COST to the garage to run a test lane is in the thousands before we open the door s

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  27. Can we have an opinion from the DVSA please, anonymous if you like, after all you will be losing half of your slot-fees.
    And, motorists saving all that cash can put it towards their roadside- assistance/recovery membership because they are going to need it!
    Biennial testing won’t be viable for test stations, it will only be more of a ‘loss-leader’. More garages will opt out of testing (mindful of impending connected-equipment costs), lead dates for a testing slot will go through the roof and so the number of vehicles on the roads without an MoT will increase beyond (the recently reported) 3.8 million!
    Come on Mr Shaps, get a grip.
    If you complain to your M.P. (forget DVSA) go with provable facts and figures, you are going to need evidence when/if it gets forwarded to Westminster. I suggest you start with your ‘Test Quality Data’ taken from the MoT Testing Service.
    Also you might refer your M.P. to this link from the DVSA, VERY useful evidence from THEIR OWN AGENCY….. https://mattersoftesting.blog.gov.uk/category/horror-stories/

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  28. I would like to see this on the matters of testing blog excellent post by the way Rocket MOT forum

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  29. To me an mot is a test of structural integrity, signals, brakes, and safety, if cambelt snaps day after that’s bad luck. I run an old car and have a basic understanding of what my cars doing and saying but affront coil spring snapping I thought engine fell out , lucky it didn’t pierce tyre. Mots are crucial for safety, some people can’t top up screen wash or have I got a spare wheel??!????

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