The government’s consultation into extending the deadline of a car’s first MOT to four years will end on Sunday.
But the potential move from the three-year test for new vehicles has sparked concern from one of the UK’s leading car parts stockists.
Euro Car Parts believes overhauling the current MOT system could have serious safety repercussions for motorists and lead to more accidents.
Currently, more than 400,000 cars fail the initial three-year MOT due to technical issues, including brakes and suspension, making them unsafe to drive. The stockist, which has 200 plus branches across the UK, fears extending the MOT deadline could mean that faulty vehicles will spend an additional 12 months on UK roads without being checked.
Euro Car Parts chief executive officer Martin Gray said: “Having a car’s first MOT test at three years means that safety critical problems are identified and rectified earlier, ensuring the car poses less of a risk to its driver or other road users.”
In 2015, there were almost 100,000 fewer accidents recorded in the UK than 2005, a reduction that is attributed to improved vehicle safety.
While a vehicle can be checked at any time by a competent garage for safety faults, a 2011 report from transport research and solutions body TRL points to motorists’ tendency to wait until a car’s MOT test to check safety critical features.
This indicates that, while motorists could check to make sure their vehicle is operating at a standard that would pass the test, most won’t until they are faced with failing the MOT.
Euro Car Parts believes the delayed checking of mechanical parts on a car will lead inevitably to an increased cost for the consumer, as the longer a part is left to wear, the more extensive a repair will be. So, while the cost of an MOT is delayed by a year, this £50 saving could mean a more expensive repair cost after an additional twelve months of wear and tear.
CHANGE COULD AFFECT ECONOMY
There are more than 29 million MOT tests carried out at 22,000 garages every year.
Stockist Euro Car Parts, which has raised concerns about extending the length of a vehicle’s first test from three years to four, believes the proposal represents a real threat to jobs - not just for the automotive service industry but for the broader UK economy.
The company has registered an official government petition to urge decision-makers to rethink the proposed changes. If you would like to sign the petition to keep the status quo then please visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/190843.