Government holds off extending date for first MOT tests

News that first MOT tests are to remain at three years from registration has been welcomed by car dealerships.

It follows a government consultation launched last year which proposed to increase the initial testing period to four years.

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) had strongly opposed the proposed changes citing member concerns over the impact on motorists’ safety if the proposed MOT changes were to go ahead. It said the announcement represented an ‘extremely positive’ development.

Sue Robinson, NFDA chief executive, said: “We are pleased that the Government has heeded the points outlined in NFDA’s consultation response and has made the decision today to maintain the first MOT test at three years rather than increase it to four, as was proposed.

“In the consultation, NFDA largely expressed our concerns for motorists’ safety and stressed the importance of vehicle safety and maintaining the UK’s leading safety record in roads.”

The NFDA said it will continue to work closely with the Government as it seeks to establish a programme of longer-term reform for MOTs and looks to explore modernising the test for electric vehicles.

On this, Hayley Pells, policy lead at the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) said: “The decision to further explore modernising tests for electric and automated vehicles is a positive step towards addressing the unique challenges and advancements in vehicle technology.

“We also appreciate the focus on diesel emissions, which is crucial for environmental concerns. The conclusion of the consultation also underscores the need for ongoing adaptations in MOT testing to keep pace with rapidly evolving vehicle technologies and environmental considerations.”

She added that the IMI’s response to the original consultation provided clear evidence that extending the date for the first MOT would significantly increase road user risk.

“In particular, the IMI identified that the risks surrounding electric vehicles – which are heavier than ICE vehicles and cause heavier wear to their tyres – would be heightened if the first MOT date was extended. Evidence drawn from MOT testing records supplied to the IMI by the Department for Transport showed that comparative to petrol engine vehicles, electric vehicles are much more likely to fail their first MOT test.”

Stuart James, chief executive of the Independent Garage Association, commenting on the decision, said: “We are pleased that the Government has listened to our concerns and opted to retain the 3-year time period to first MOT. Public safety is paramount, and the decision aligns with our commitment to protecting motorists by ensuring the continued effectiveness of MOT testing in identifying potential safety issues as early as possible.”


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