15 Jun 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

Drivers prefer current MOT frequency to 23p a week saving

With the MOT Consultation that is looking at the idea of reducing the frequency of the MOT closing today (Wednesday 22 March) , a survey performed by the SMMT has found that 67% of UK motorists strongly support keeping the first MOT at three years.

67% went on to say they thought shifting to a start from when a car hits four would put lives in danger with 74% adding that the typical £35-£45 cost of a test is a price worth paying for the peace of mind on vehicular roadworthiness. Among the government’s suggestions in the Consultation is the idea that changing the frequency of the test will save drivers money. According to the proposals in the Consultation, moving the start date of the MOT would deliver a cumulative saving to owners of three-year-old cars worth between £91 and £117 million, based on 2.6 million first tests. This would save average driver £35-£45 over the first three years of ownership – or 23p-29p a week. However, 87% of respondents said they would prefer a reduction in VED or a cut in fuel duty.

Many drivers rely on the MOT as well, with 23% admitting they do not check that their brakes regularly, 19% not checking their tyres and 17% not checking lights and indicators. These areas made up almost a quarter of a million failure items alone in 2022. 66% of respondents added that they would not purchase a three-year-old car without an MOT.

Commenting on the findings, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said “Safety is the number one priority for the automotive industry and the MOT is a crucial component in keeping the UK’s vehicles and roads safe. Our survey shows that drivers support the existing MOT frequency and that there is little appetite to change it, despite the increased cost of living.”

Mike added: “If changes to the MOT are to be made, these should enable testing of advanced electrified powertrains, driver assistance technologies and connected and automated features, as drivers value the peace of mind the MOT offers.”