First MoT Test to Remain at 3 Years to Protect Road Safety

The first MOT test on cars and motorcycles will not be extended to 4 years due to safety concerns, after a consultation to extend the MoT limit was over turned.

The decision to stick with the current 3 years has been announced after the Department for Transport (DfT) opted against extending the MoT for new cars to 4 years.

Putting safety first, most of those responding to the consultation were against the proposals on safety grounds, arguing that the savings to motorists were outweighed by the risk to road users as the test often highlights upcoming issues affecting the vehicle. A public survey for DfT by Populus also showed fewer than half of people were in favour of the change.

In 2016 more than 2.4 million cars had their first MOT test, which costs owners a maximum of £54.85. The pass rate was about 85% and the most common reasons for failure included: lighting, tyres and braking faults. By law, all vehicles must be roadworthy, regardless of whether they have passed an MoT, the content of the tests will not be changed.

Extending a car’s first MoT limit to 4 years would save motorists an extra £100 million a year, however, extending the time before a first MoT would present a big threat to road safety.

Announcing the decision to leave the MoT test to 3 years, Roads Minister Jesse Norman said,

“Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MoT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, welcomed the DfT's decision to stick with the three-year rule, saying,

"Modern cars are more reliable than ever but the MOT test is often the first opportunity to check wear and tear items such as tyres, brakes and suspension, and it plays a crucial role in keeping the UK’s roads among the safest in the world.”


Do you agree with the decision to stick with the current 3 year MoT? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.