Annual MOTs could be axed to reduce motoring costs

Proposals put forward by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps could save drivers up to £55 every two years if passed into law...

MOT garage sign

Drivers may only need to have an MOT test every two years rather than annually, under plans being considered by the Government.

The idea, suggested by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, was put forward during a Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a way to help ease the cost of living, which is currently at record high levels.

Currently, the maximum legal cost of an MOT is £54.85, however many testing centres choose to charge less.

Car being serviced

Cars which are less than three years old are currently exempt from an MOT, as are classic or ‘historic’ vehicles which are more than 40 years old.

While the idea is only a proposal for now, Shapps said: “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 was first put in place.”

However, he also qualified that he was: “certainly not in a position to make specific announcements.”

Merc C-Class in local garage

The proposal has been met with scepticism within the motoring industry, particularly in terms of safety.

Head of Roads Policy at the AA Jack Cousens said that although the proposals were "well intended", moving the yearly spend on MOTs to every two years "could make costs worse for drivers with higher repair bills, make our roads more dangerous and would put jobs in the garage industry at risk.”

RAC Head of Roads Policy Nicholas Lyes also said that 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.”

Man checking tyre tread depth

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, reiterated that while today’s vehicles are more reliable, "regular MOTs ensure that safety-critical components such as brakes and tyres, which wear out as a result of normal operation, are properly inspected and maintained.”

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more: The top 10 pre-MOT checks >>