UK motorists are being reminded that a valid MOT certificate is not an indication of a vehicle’s roadworthiness for a 12-month period, at a time when the government is proposing an extension for MOT testing for new cars from 2017.
The message comes from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) approved independent garage code, Trust My Garage, which is warning that government plans to extend the period for new cars and motorbikes to have their first MOT from three to four years would risk making UK roads more dangerous.
The RMI, the organisation behind Trust My Garage, has said it will respond to the consultation on the proposal, as will the automotive industry’s ProMOTe campaign.
The ProMOTe campaign is a coalition representing road safety groups, motoring organisations and industry bodies all opposed to what are considered to be dangerous, expensive and unnecessary government plans.
DVSA data shows that even at three years old, more than one in five cars fail the MOT and waiting a further year before the first test will only increase this number.
Terry Gibson, of Trust My Garage, said: “The government should not be changing the time required for a new car or motorbike to have its first MOT test when we have some of the safest roads in Europe.
“An extension has the potential to put motorists’ lives at risk and could lead to a rise in the number of unsafe vehicles on the road, as well as a potential increase in car mileage fraud.”
It’s a concern that’s reflected among GW readers.
Hazel Hanley of Mount Pleasant MOT in East Sussex said: “Not only will the plan endanger lives, it will also put jobs on the line and many garages out of business.”
Meanwhile, another reader reflected on a recent first MOT for a vehicle with 11,000 miles on the clock which had badly worn lower ball joint.
Paul said: “It was in terrible state and just goes to show that this could have saved a life or prevented an accident.
“The idea that this could have gone for another year unnoticed!”
As the ProMOTe coalition continues to challenge government proposals, the message to consumers is to remember that irrespective of when the first test takes place, a valid MOT is not a substitute for regular servicing, and certainly not an indication of continued roadworthiness for the 12 months that follow the test.
Terry Gibson added: “There is a belief that because modern cars are typically becoming more reliable, they do not need to be tested so frequently.
“Not only is the MOT failure rate higher than it was in 2008 many components such as tyres and brakes are likely to have become dangerous by the time a vehicle is four-years-old.
“We believe that these risks are exacerbated by the fact many motorists rely on the MOT to check the roadworthiness of their vehicle rather than to confirm it.”
Do you believe these proposals will really get the go-ahead? Tell us about the dangerous MOT failures that you’ve come across, particularly if it was on a first MOT, and leave your comments below.