The Independent Garage Association has written to Louise Haigh MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, seeking support to oppose any changes to the current MOT structure.
Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive said, “Our current MOT testing system ensures that the UK roads are amongst the safest in the world. The Department for Transport cites taking away a financial burden from motorists, environmental impact and advancing vehicle technology as reasons for proposing the extension of a vehicle’s first MOT, however any extension to the MOT test schedule will be highly detrimental to the UK’s road safety record and will cause extra costs to vehicle owners long-term.
“The alleged saving of £40 on average for an MOT test will disappear in extra repair bills due to vehicle defects going undetected for an additional year and potentially becoming more problematic, dangerous and costly. Insurance premiums are also expected to rise to balance the increased risk.
“The consultation also refers to saving on greenhouse emissions by vehicles not having to be driven an average of 4 miles each way to their nearest MOT station, which presumes that if the vehicle is not being driven to and from its MOT, it is not being driven at all. The consultation also admits that over 1 million vehicles failed their initial MOT at year 3 due to emissions in 2019, and that over 45,000 extra vehicles could pollute at higher levels until picked up in their first MOT at 4 years.
“The DfT’s argument that modern cars are reliable and therefore do not need as frequent testing is misleading. Key safety critical items such as tyres and brakes still wear, in some cases more so than older cars. The fail rate of modern cars at first test is 14%, unsurprisingly mainly on tyres, brakes, lights and suspension, and 1,759 casualties were caused by vehicle defects in 2021.
“While the Conservative Government is spinning this consultation as a money saving measure, they are only taking care of the wealthier among us who can afford to run a vehicle of 4 years old or less, to whom the average MOT fee of £40 has little impact.”