Once a vehicle reaches three years old it requires an annual MOT test to check its roadworthiness, with a range of components in the vehicle inspected. Any issues with a vehicle are flagged as either ‘advisories’ to monitor and repair if needed, or ‘major defects’, which automatically mean a vehicle will fail its MOT and cannot be driven on the road until repaired.
Here’s what you need to know about the proposed changes
Under plans, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps proposed to the cabinet that the need for an annual MOT could be dropped.
Increasing the requirement for an MOT test to two years would see the driver of a standard car save up to £54.85, or £29.65 for a motorbike.
The tests cost up to £54.85, with repair bills on top.
What have motoring groups said about MOT changes?
However, motoring groups have been quick to slam the proposals, with the RAC saying it would see a “dramatic increase in the number of roadworthy vehicles”.
RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The purpose of an MOT is to ensure vehicles meet a basic level of safety for driving on our roads. Shifting it from annually to every two years would see a dramatic increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles and could make our roads far less safe.”
The motor industry has also come out to say that the whole plan is “dangerous, unwanted and unreasonable”.
Stuart James, chief executive of the Independent Garage Association (IGA), told Car Dealer Magazine: “In times of economic hardship, it’s known that drivers cut back on servicing their cars and it’s the annual MOT that has kept the UK’s road safety at high levels thanks to the vital safety checks it carries out.
“In our opinion this whole plan is dangerous, unwanted and unreasonable.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said they “won’t comment on cabin meetings” and that it remains “speculation”.
What has Grant Shapps said about the changes?
The government is working to find ways to help save the public money as the cost of living crisis continues, but which only costs a small amount to implement. Other proposals mentioned in the cabinet meeting include lowering the legal limits on adult supervision for children.
Asked about the issue by the Commons’ Transport Select Committee, Mr Shapps said any changes would need to meet a “very rigorous safety standard”.
He went on: “I don’t rule anything out.
“If you look at things like MOTs – cars have clearly become a lot more reliable than when the MOT, named after the Ministry of Transport, was put in place.
“I think it’s always right to keep these things under review, but there’s a lot of road to cover before we get to that point.”
Mr Shapps added: “I’m always looking at things that can assist but I’m certainly not in a position to make specific announcements about those things.”
Motoring groups have warned about the safety implications of relaxing MOT rules.
Transport Select Committee member, Karl McCartney, told Mr Shapps it was “an absolutely crap idea”.
Vehicles must have an MOT on the third anniversary of their registration, and then every 12 months.
A number of parts such as lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes are checked to ensure they meet legal standards.
Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for using a vehicle without a valid MOT.