UK AFCAR, the coalition formed to lobby the UK government in a post-Brexit era, called any possible frequency change to the MOT test as a “dangerous step backwards for road safety”.
Recent reports in the national media suggested that the UK government is looking at relaxing the MOT Test Frequency from a 3-1-1 test regime to an MOT test every two years, to help ease the cost-of-living crisis.
But, the UK Alliance for the Freedom of Car Repair (UK AFCAR), which is made up of trade associations and commercial organisations who share common concerns about the UK Aftermarket, has called on the UK government to shelve any such proposals that reduce road safety and lead to an actual increase in car repair and maintenance costs. The environment would also suffer as vehicle emissions remaining unchecked will result in poorly maintained vehicles harming the environment.
The coalition says that to ensure motoring is as safe and cost-effective as possible, motorists must have their vehicle inspected and serviced regularly. Evidence shows MOT and servicing is done at the same time so a reduction in test frequency means a reduction in servicing and further separates a motorist’s responsibility on a vehicle’s roadworthiness.
Data from the DVSA shows that one in three vehicles presented for an MOT test fail and 30 percent of those fail on brakes, a safety critical component. Therefore, moving to an extended testing period with an ageing vehicle parc would see more defective vehicles on the roads and potentially cause more accidents and fatalities, as well as higher repair costs. SMMT data also shows that 42 percent of vehicles on UK roads are over 10 years old – this highlights the need for regular MOT inspections.
Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive and UK AFCAR Chairman, said: “We recognise the enormous strain the rising cost of living has on UK families and its solution will need be found through a diverse and widespread range of measures. But, each time the MOT test frequency has been called into question, it has been proven beyond doubt that extending the test frequency would mean a significant reduction in road safety as there would be more defective vehicles on UK roads and, as a consequence, an actual increase in repair costs for drivers.
Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive had this to say on the proposed changes: “In our opinion this whole plan is dangerous, unwanted and unreasonable. This proposal has been scrutinised at least four times that I have known of in the last 15 years, and every time it has been deemed detrimental to road safety.
“It is a fact that in times of economic hardship, motorists cut back on servicing their cars and it is the annual MOT that has kept the UK’s road safety at high levels thanks to the vital safety checks it carries out. Saving the cost of an MOT biannually is not worth the price of national road safety.”