On the surface, the government plans to make changes to the MOT system seem to save most people money. The plan is to change the compulsory MOT period from every 12 months to every 24 months or two years. However, more than 55% of drivers surveyed in a recent RAC questionnaire disagree with the idea and are concerned that there will be many adverse knock-on effects.
The promise of saving money does not seem to be as much of a bonus as the government thought it would be. Safety is the primary concern, and 98% of the people who believed a two-year MOT was a bad idea said so because they are concerned this will create unsafe roads with unroadworthy vehicles, causing accidents and injuries. 20% thought it would directly contribute to collisions, 61% feared cars breaking down on the road would increase, and the money-saving aspect was also challenged.
Long-Term Spending Increase
Around 58% of those surveyed said the MOT is an early warning system. If issues with a vehicle are left for two years, the repair cost could spiral; if problems are caught early, they will be cheaper to fix and less dangerous. Leaving something to get worse over 24 months will negate any potential savings on offer from only paying an MOT fee every two years. Motorists certainly do not seem to agree that this is a sensible way to reduce the cost of living. 44% of those involved in the survey were also concerned that garages would be forced to increase prices for repairs and other work as they would lose money because there would be less MOT work.
Only One Fifth Approve
Of the 1435 people surveyed, just 22% or approximately 1/5 thought it was a good idea. They believed that modern vehicles have better reliability and self-checking systems to alert drivers to problems and therefore do not need an MOT every 12 months. Around half the people in this smaller group did think they would save money. Interestingly, 41% felt drivers should be able to check their vehicle for roadworthiness and not need to pay a garage to do it for them.
The Current Rules
At the moment, brand-new cars do not require an MOT for the first three years. After that, the MOT is due every 12 months. The current MOT fee is £54.80 for cars. However, garages are free to lower the price if they want to. Of course, the extent of the MOT spend will depend on whether it passes the first time or requires work to bring any defects up to spec and then it will need to be retested. The RAC tends to agree with the survey findings and feels that more problems will arise if MOTs are extended to once every two years. One of the critical issues that see vehicles fail the MOT is the tire tread, and if this was not picked up on for an extra 12 months, significantly, more lives could be put at risk because the vehicle is unable to grip the road or stop fast enough when the brakes are used.
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