Ministers have ruled to keep the age of a vehicle at its first MOT test to three years after a raft of safety concerns at extending the mandatory test to four years.

Last year the Department for Transport opened up a consultation period to debate the possibility of extending the time that new cars have to wait before having a MOT test to four years.

The proposals would have increased the wait time for all new vehicles to have a test by a year, the only exception being light commercial vehicles that would have remained at the current length.

However, the vast majority of those responding to the proposals were against the plans on safety grounds. The main argument was that the cost saving for motorists was outweighed by the risk posed to other road users because of those driving possibly non-roadworthy vehicles.

Roads minister Jesse Norman said: “Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MOT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.

“We are looking at further research to ensure the MOT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.”

The current rules say that all vehicles must be roadworthy at all times if they are in use. Once they reach three-years-old, every vehicle is required by law to pass a MOT test annually to remain legal.

Recent figures show that in 2016, 85 per cent of vehicles passed their first MOT test, with the most common reasons for failing including lighting, tyres and braking faults.

Ted Welford


January 18, 2018