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Government rows back on extending MOT intervals

 Published 26th January 2024
Company Fleet  Driver Guides 

Plans by the Government to extend MOT intervals beyond the current three years have been rowed back.

Issues such as safety and the potentially limited driver savings were cited as reasons to keep the three year interval following first registration for cars and light commercial vehicles.

It follows a concerted response by 4,500 safety groups and organisations to the Government’s MoT Consultation, which concluded that there were significant risks to extending the first MoT from three years to four or even five. According to DVSA figures, the most likely reason for a vehicle, up to six years of age, to fail its MoT is tyre defects.

i247 Group, a driver support provider to fleets, has also found that due to increasing pressure on van fleets, tyres are showing elevated signs of wear and an increase in MOT failures on Class 5 vehicles – such as minibuses with 13 or more seats as well as ambulances - due to tyre defects.

So extending the MOT period would potentially exacerbate such issues.

The Department for Transport (DfT) commented: “The Government intends to maintain our exceptional record on road safety - with it being one of the best in Europe.

“The Department sought views about amending the date of the first MOT for cars, vans and motorcycles from three to four years. Overall, 84% opposed changing the date of the first test. A high volume of concerns were raised in relation to road safety, in particular regarding tyre and brake wear - the most common reasons for first-time MOT test failures. These safety issues are particularly important given the volume of anecdotal evidence that suggests that many drivers rely on the first MOT test to identify safety-critical issues.”

According to TyreSafe, a charity dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of correct tyre maintenance, over 2 million cars fail their MOT each year due to tyre defects with over 1 million classified as ‘dangerous’.

Stuart Lovatt, TyreSafe Chair, said: “This is a very welcome announcement from the Department for Transport and we applaud them for listening to the views of road safety organisations for factoring in the risks posed to road safety in extending the first test to four years. While TyreSafe supports any initiatives which helps reduce cost to road users and minimise their impact on the environment, the DfT has rightly pointed out the ‘saving’ of an MoT test fee is marginal when compared to the potential costs driving with defects can have on people’s budgets.”

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