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25 January 2024, 16:37

Government U-Turns on MOT Changes Amid Fierce Backlash and Safety Concerns

The UK Government has decided to maintain the current frequency of MOT tests for vehicles, following a consultation process. The first MOT test will continue to be required three years after a new car, van, or motorcycle is registered, with subsequent tests conducted annually thereafter. This decision comes after a consultation launched in January 2023 to gather views on updating MOT testing to reflect advancements in vehicle technology, cost to motorists, road safety, and emissions

The idea of changing the MOT testing frequency was widely criticized by the motoring public and industry experts. Concerns were raised that less frequent testing could compromise road safety and ultimately lead to higher costs for drivers due to issues going undetected for longer periods. The consultation received over 4,400 responses, indicating strong opposition to the proposed changes.

Roads Minister Guy Opperman has stated that the government has paid attention to both drivers and the automotive industry. The MOT test, which is conducted annually, assesses the safety and legality of vehicles' brakes, tyres, seatbelts, and lighting.

Opperman remarked, "By providing clear guidance on MOT tests, in conjunction with our recent consultation on street works and the significant investment of £8.3 billion to improve road surfaces, we are offering motorists reassurance and contributing to maintaining the UK's reputation for having some of the safest roads globally."

Furthermore, the Department for Transport (DfT) has indicated it will persist in evaluating potential modifications to the testing procedures for diesel, electric, and autonomous vehicles.

In response to the feedback, the government has also committed to exploring modernizations of the MOT test, particularly for electric and automated vehicles, and to improve monitoring of diesel vehicle emissions. These efforts aim to ensure the MOT remains relevant and effective in the context of evolving vehicle technologies and environmental standards.

The decision to retain the existing MOT frequency has been welcomed by various stakeholders, including the RAC, AA, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), who highlighted the importance of regular MOTs in maintaining road safety and vehicle roadworthiness. The government has expressed its intention to continue working closely with industry and drivers to establish a program of longer-term reform for MOTs to address the rapidly advancing vehicle technology and environmental considerations.

Notes to the editor

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