RoadSafe urged the DfT to maintain current MOT laws
3 September 2010

Road safety partnership RoadSafe, is urging transport minister Mike Penning to maintain the MOT test as an annual check-up for vehicles.

Most countries in the EU follow the EU minimum requirement of giving vehicles their first test when they are four years old and subsequent tests every two years.

There is pressure on the UK to do the same, rather than continue the current system, whereby vehicles must have their first test within three years of registration and annual tests thereafter.

The DfT is looking into reducing the required frequency of tests to fall in line with Europe, because modern vehicles are more reliable.

However, RoadSafe is warning that extending the time before a vehicle’s first MOT could lead to more unsafe vehicles on our roads.

This would subsequently increase the number of crashes and road casualties caused by poorly maintained vehicles.

In 2008, the Department for Transport said the MOT failure rate was high – at 35 per cent. Between 2009 and 2010, the failure rate increased to 37 per cent.

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3 September 2010

I hate to say it but I dont think UK drivers could be trusted with a bi-annual MOT- a lot of drivers in this country do have a tendency to run tyres/brakes etc until they fail. Im sure there are plenty of responsible people that do maintain their vehicles, but I think there are enough people that do not maintain their vehicles at all, for whom the annual MOT is the only checkup their tyres/brakes etc will get.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

3 September 2010

I also think that that it would be a disaster to adopt bi annual testing, I heard a lady the other day complaining that her 58 plate BMW 3 series didn't have a warning light to tell her that the tread was worn out on her tyres. This is after the tyre had blown out due to it being worn down to the steel cords, the other rear tyre resembled a Brillo pad. People today just can be bothered in doing the most basic of checks, so they need at least an annual test. I've been in New Zealand for the last 5 years and their testing is done from new, then annually and when the vehicle is 6 years old its done every 6 months. Also we must remember that an MOT test is a minimum roadworthy test for the day it was carried out.

3 September 2010

I agree, alot of people in the Uk arent well educated enough (or are and just dont care) on basic mechanical checkups / maintenance. The only way it could work would be to have the car have a free 'checkup' 12 months after the test date. This wouldn't work though as garages wouldn't be able to make much money from it and the kind of people who dont keep their car in good working order would ignore the advice until the actual test.

3 September 2010

You have to consider that the UK test is not as strict as the EU one, and I think the fines are also heavier for things such as worn tyres in Europe.

Therefore, if we came in line not just with the timings but also the content of the test itself and the fines/punishments, perhaps that woudn't be so bad. There are always going to be people who are dumb enough to ignore worn tyres, etc., and this is not just a UK thing.

I guess one thing we don't do in the UK is have the requirment to change to winter tyres like they do in a lot of continental Europe, and therefore the tyre wear is considerably lower as they have 2 sets in use throughout the year.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is more to this story than a simple "let's change it to every two years instead".

3 September 2010

[quote stratts]I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is more to this story than a simple "let's change it to every two years instead".[/quote]

Indeed, and the VED and Insurance structure would have to change with it, and a lot of vested interests wouldn't want that...changing over the driving on the right would be a far easier achievement in comparisson.

3 September 2010

I'm an MOT tester - last week I was testing a very well kept BMW X5 and found both rear tyres worn through to the canvas, but only on a thin band around the inside edge of the tyre. This could only be seen from underneath the vehicle, from the outside the tyres looked fine with plenty of tread. The owner was shocked particularly when they were removed from the wheels and he saw how thin the tyre was and how little material was left before a potential high speed failure of the tyres. Obviously this was caused by a suspension misalignment, but this was only symptom to identify it.

This SHOULD be picked up at an annual service/check, but if the car was sold or missed a service.... Frightening to think that the car could have been driven for another year unchecked on those tyres....

3 September 2010

When I spent two years in Spain the test frequency increased with age, ending up at an annual check once 10 years was reached.

However the test centres were a government run franchise, which was was more automated production line than our test bays with a turn up queue and drive through approach.

Thus there was no incentive to generate repair work as that was not on the same site.


3 September 2010

It would be interesting to see a break down of the reasons for cars failing the MOT: comsumerables (tyres etc), lights, suspension, chassis, etc.

As a car can currently be on the road for 3 years without any mandatory testing, that would seem to be more than sufficient time for a set of tyres to wear out, hardly an arguement for retaining an annual test requirement.

I remember being told that although a car might have a current MOT it is a guarantee of nothing as it is only really valid on the day it was issued.

3 September 2010

I think 2 years could work if there was a mileage limit, say 20,000 miles, so you could go over 1 year if you had not exceeded 20,000 miles since the last check, then 20,000 miles or two years, whichever is soonest would apply. I also think all cars should have their first check at 60,000 miles regardless of age. The difficulty is getting people who are unable to check their tyres to get their head round a variable testing regime.

3 September 2010

It is just not good enough for a car to be un-tested until it is three years old.


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