Is This the End of the Annual MOT?

The cost of living crisis is dominating the news at the moment, with everybody looking to the government to make things a little bit easier. In a wave of new measures announced recently comes a proposed reform to the current MOT regulations, which has been met with a lot of resistance.

The Status Quo

Currently, vehicle owners are required to have their car MOT every year and carry out any repairs that need doing before the certificate can be issued. The new proposals suggest that every two years would be enough, meaning that over £55 a year could easily be saved when you essentially skip an MOT. The new idea was put to senior party members by Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, at the end of May.

However, lots of people are wondering whether this saving, which appears to be a drop in the ocean, will actually cause more problems than it prevents with cars allowed on roads that technically are no longer roadworthy.

Inflation is Soaring

The proposal is thought to stem from a directive by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He urged his MPs to seek innovative new ways to solve the challenge of the highest inflation rate we have seen for 30 years. There are also supply chain issues that have been caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Plus, the crisis surrounding fuel and the fact that household bills are spiralling at alarming rates. But is it safe to allow vehicles on the road for two years with no requirement for safety checks?

Raising Repair Costs

A seemingly valid point has been raised by some opposed to the idea. That is the fact that repair costs can spiral if a problem is left for too long. An annual MOT enables issues to be caught early and repaired or replaced before further damage can be done. Those against the plan include several industry bodies and members of the Labour party. Neither of whom is convinced that this will be a safe way to proceed.

Nicholas Lyes, who is the RAC head of policy, spoke about the proposal to increase MOTs to every two years instead of annually. He said, ‘the purpose of an MOT is to ensure vehicles meet a basic level of safety for driving on our roads. Shifting it from yearly to every two years would see a dramatic increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles and could make the roads far less safe’.

Of course, brand-new vehicles do not fall under the same rules, with MOT requirements kicking in once they reach three years of age. It is estimated that the standard cost is £55 for car drivers and £30 for those who own motorbikes. However, as many will know from personal experience, a car flying through the MOT with no extra charges tends to be a very rare occurrence, and therefore, this annual event can cost a whole lot more. It does not look like the proposed changes will be popular and therefore are unlikely to succeed