Automotive industry-backed organisation RoadSafe has joined the growing debate over possible changes to the MoT by calling for the test to remain annual so road safety is not compromised.
Last month it emerged that Transport Minister Mike Penning, who is also responsible for road safety, was to conduct a comprehensive review of MoT testing for cars and commercial vehicles later this year.
He told the Retail Motor Industry Federation that he was concerned that the industry was testing low mileage, well maintained cars too often, whilst at the same time missing out on cars and light commercial vehicles that had high annual mileages.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is looking into reducing the required frequency of tests from once a year when a vehicle reaches three years old to fall into line with Europe. As a minimum, European Union law requires vehicles to have their first test when they are four years old and subsequent tests every two years.
However, RoadSafe says such a move will lead to more crashes, caused by poorly maintained vehicles. Testers in the UK identify 8.5 million cars with defects every year. In its own review of the MoT in 2008, the DfT said reducing the test’s frequency would significantly increase the number of unroadworthy cars and casualties.
RoadSafe director Adrian Walsh said: “An annual MoT is vital for picking up these problems. RoadSafe joins the Tyre Industry Federation, and other campaigners, with a warning to Government, that extending the period between MoT tests will put lives at risk.”