UK government opens public consultation on potential MOT changes

A public consultation has been organised by the UK government considering potential changes to MOT procedures and regulations.

MOT test sign

The UK government has announced a public consultation on potential solutions to improving MOTs. 

The government intends to use the outcomes of the consultation to inform future policy updates.

In general, the government is looking to update MOT regulations to, in its view, keep MOTs up-to-date with a changing landscape of travel and mobility in the UK. 

A news article on the UK government website discussing the consultation says: “Since the MOT was introduced in 1960 – and especially in recent years – there have been major developments in vehicle technology such as lane-assisted driving which have increased road safety, while the spread of electric and hybrid cars is rapidly changing the nature of vehicles on our roads.”

Additionally, the government wants to improve MOT test effectiveness for electric motorcycles and cars by introducing new tests for EV batteries. Further, it wants to bring new tests for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and particulate emissions.

Other changes the government wants to introduce relate to the timing and frequency of MOTs. It was already announced in 2022 that the government wants to increase the gap between MOTs from one year to two. This is still a consideration, but it also wants to increase the time between a new vehicle being registered and its first MOT from three years to four. This is because the government’s data shows that most new vehicles pass their first MOT after three years. Four years is also the standard in many European countries, including Belgium, France, and Italy.

The RAC has mixed views on the government’s plans. It supports the extension too four years between registration and the first MOT, but is opposed to the increase from one year to two years for MOTs after the first one, and believes that the government should be looking into implementing a mileage-based calculation for how often a vehicle should be tested.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “While we’re not opposed to delaying a new vehicle’s first MOT, we believe there should be a requirement for particularly high mileage vehicles to be tested sooner.

“If the Government is looking to improve the MOT, now is the ideal time to take into account how much a vehicle is driven, alongside the number of years it’s been on the road.

“We’re also disappointed the Government is still entertaining the idea of increasing the time between MOTs.

“Our research clearly shows drivers don’t agree with this and believe it’s dangerous. It would also likely increase the number of unroadworthy vehicles on our roads – putting lives at risk – and not save drivers any money as they would likely end up with bigger repair bills as a result.

“Given the technological advances of driving aids in cars and the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, there is an argument that suggests the MOT will need to adapt accordingly in the future.

“Certainly, moves to check for faulty or removed diesel particulate filters will improve air quality by targeting dirty vehicles.”

The government consultation can be viewed on

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