Three-year first MOT to stay

Consultation rules out extension to four years

Three-year first MOT to stay

IN a rare stroke of sanity following recent decisions including the unusual move to exempt old knackers from the MOT test the Government has decided that extending the period of grace before a vehicle’s first MOT to four years would be a bad move.

The decision comes following a consultation launched a year ago to ask whether the first MOT should be postponed until a car or bike reaches its fourth birthday.

In the consultation, the overwhelming response was that the first MOT should remain at three years, with 1251 responses saying it shouldn’t be moved and only 444 people saying the four-year MOT was a good idea.

A Populus survey of people not associated with the motor trade showed that the general public was more in favour of the move. 43% of those asked were in favour of postponing the first MOT until the fourth year. That compares to only 32% who actively disagreed with the idea. The remaining 25% neither agreed nor disagreed, or had no opinion on the matter.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, and are always looking at ways of making them safer.

“Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MOT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.

“We are looking at further research to ensure the MOT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.”

While the Government has sided with the consultation in this case, in last year’s decision to exempt 40-year-old vehicles from MOTs the response to the consultation was also negative. The Government opted to go ahead regardless, so pre-1978 cars and bikes will be exempt from MOTs from May this year.