MoT: these three letters are like a visual comfort blanket to used car buyers.
They signify safety; a car with a 12-month MoT will run and run. Or so were led to believe.
However, What Car? has uncovered disturbing disparities between testing centres, the faults they detect and even whether or not they pass or fail the same car, which proves that the system, run by the Government agency VOSA, just isnt working.
So why the concern?
The annual test is applied to vehicles aged three years or older, and covers more than 80% of the 31 million cars in the UK. Our findings would be worrying enough under normal circumstances, but theyre downright alarming at the moment because the Government wants to delay the first MoT test by a year and double the time between tests to two years. Organisations such as the AA are against the idea, warning that it will increase the number of unsafe cars on the road.
VOSA says there are around 22,000 approved testing stations and that these are checked depending on their risk of non-compliance. Red garages will typically be seen three times in 18 months, while green stations will be checked once every three years and monitored remotely in other years. Inspections will take place if any concerns arise from remote monitoring, or from any complaints. Nominated testers are checked at the same time. It isnt enough, as our tests prove.