Annual MOT test remains as proposed change is scrapped

Year-long Government consultation concludes that a vehicle's first MOT test should stay at three years instead of four, and then every year after that...

MOT test feature pic

The Government has decided to shelve its plans to modernise the MOT test by moving the first test back to a vehicle's fourth birthday and then only requiring it to be taken every two years after that. 

The decision comes a year after it launched a consultation to see if it would be feasible to alter MOT regulations to make them more in line with those of some European countries and to save UK motorists around £100 million a year in test fees and other related expenses. 

The consultation gained more than 4400 responses, with many in the motor industry opposed to the proposition on safety grounds. One concern is that some motorists use the annual check-up to find out if their car has any faults or worn components, and don't check the cars over between tests. 

MOT tester using diagnostic equipment

The AA and RAC both welcomed the news that the proposal had been dropped, with the RAC’s head of policy Simon Williams commenting: “It’s great news the madcap idea of changing the MOT from every year to every two has finally been consigned to the bin. 

“This would have seriously compromised road safety and ended up costing drivers more money rather than less as it was supposed to do, due to dangerous issues going undetected and getting progressively worse,” he added. 

MOT garage - Mercedes C-Class being tested

Roads minister Guy Opperman also commented on the decision, stating: “We have listened to drivers and industry, and keeping MOTs in their current form shows once again that we are on the side of motorists.

“By offering clarity on MOT tests, alongside our recent street works consultation and unprecedented £8.3 billion to resurface roads, we are helping motorists drive with peace of mind and ensuring Britain’s roads continue to be some of the safest in the world.”

However, the Government has said it will continue to work with the motor industry to establish a longer-term set of reforms for the MOT test. One area it will be looking at is a more effective test for diesel particulate emissions, and making improvements to the test to ensure it covers electric vehicle (EV) safety appropriately. 

Other changes could include the introduction of NOx particulate emission testing and the monitoring of CO2 emissions on all vehicles. The current subjective noise level examination could also be changed to a metered sound test. 

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Next: Top 10 pre-MOT checks to ensure your car passes >>