UK motorists are being reminded that a valid MOT certificate is not an indication of a vehicle’s roadworthiness for a 12-month period, at a time when the government is proposing an extension for MoT testing for new cars from 2017.
The message comes from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) approved independent garage code, Trust My Garage, which is warning that government plans to extend the period for new cars and motorbikes to have their first MOT from three to four years would risk making UK roads more dangerous. Waiting a further year before testing vehicles at a time when motorists are far less likely to conduct basic safety checks themselves, when the state of our roads continues to be poor and when some vehicles are covering very high mileages indeed is a risky combination.
The Retail Motor Industry Federation, the organisation behind Trust My Garage, will be responding to the consultation on the proposal, as will the automotive industry’s ProMOTe campaign. Their new website, www.ProMOTe.org.uk, is dedicated to providing further education to UK motorists on the MOT test, and explains why the campaign opposes the government plans.
Terry Gibson, from Trust My Garage, explained: “We believe the government should not be changing the time required for a new car or motorbike to have its first MOT test when we have some of the safest roads in Europe. An extension has the potential to put motorists’ lives at risk and could lead to a rise in the number of unsafe vehicles on the road, as well as a potential increase in car mileage fraud.”
The ProMOTe campaign is a coalition representing road safety groups, motoring organisations and industry bodies all opposed to what are considered to be dangerous, expensive and unnecessary government plans. Statistics from the DVSA reveal that even at three years old, more than one in five cars fail the MOT and waiting a further year before the first test will only increase this number.
As the ProMOTe coalition continues to challenge government proposals, the message from Trust My Garage to consumers is to remember that irrespective of when the first test takes place, a valid MOT is not a substitute for regular servicing, and certainly not an indication of continued roadworthiness for the 12 months that follow the test.
Terry Gibson continued: “There is a belief that because modern cars are typically becoming more reliable, they do not need to be tested so frequently. This is not correct. Not only is the MOT failure rate higher than it was in 2008 many components such as tyres and brakes are likely to have become dangerous by the time a vehicle is four-years-old. We believe that these risks are exacerbated by the fact many motorists rely on the MOT to check the roadworthiness of their vehicle rather than to confirm it.
“Extending the first MOT to when a car is four-years-old will only encourage motorists to postpone necessary maintenance work for an extra year, putting them and other motorists at risk from hidden dangerous faults they may be unaware of.”