43% of motorists only check the condition of their car’s tyres once a year – before it goes for its MOT test.
That’s what we found when we surveyed 1,513 visitors to the SimpleMotoring.co.uk website a few months ago.
For that reason alone, the government’s plan to reduce the frequency of the MOT test to every other year is dangerously misguided.
The government says that it wants to ‘reduce the burden of the MOT test’ by changing the testing regime to reflect the fact that modern cars are more reliable than they used to be.
The problem is that reliability has got nothing to do with it – at present, 40% of cars and vans fail the MOT each year and 20% of cars and vans fail their first MOT at 3 years old.
The majority of MOT failures are caused by lights, tyres and brake defects. All of these are ‘wear and tear’ items that affect cars of all ages and all types.
Drivers should perform basic maintenance checks (like the oil, water and tyre pressures) on their cars, but many of them don’t. That’s why we need to keep the annual MOT test.
If you don’t believe me, then consider this: In another recent SimpleMotoring.co.uk survey, we found that 32.7% of motorists questioned said they did not know how to check the oil, water and tyre pressures on their car.
Cars may be more reliable than they used to be, but people are not!
‘Dangerous, Expensive & Unwanted’
A new campaign has been started to try and persuade the current Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, to abandon these misguided changes and save the annual MOT test.
PRO-MOTE says that all the evidence shows that an increase in the intervals between MOT tests would be ‘dangerous, expensive and unwanted’.
MOT Changes Would Increase Road Deaths
The Department of Transport’s own research from 2008 suggests that moving to a 4-2-2 system of MOT tests (i.e. first test at 4 years old and then every second year) would be likely to increase the number of road deaths and serious injuries by 3,000 every year.
Under the current system, 40% of cars and vans fail their MOT tests each year and of these, 800,000 – 2,200 per day – are described as being ‘dangerous to drive’. Yet somehow the government thinks it would be a good idea to let these vehicles carry on in daily use for another year, before finally being tested and fixed.
MOTs Catch Faults Early
As well as providing essential safety checks, the MOT test is also an effective way of spotting minor problems with a car that can then be cheaply fixed before they become major problems.
This is something that actually saves motorists money – minor repairs typically cost a fraction of the cost of major repairs, especially where something can be fixed before it needs replacing.
Let’s Save The MOT
All the evidence suggests that the government’s proposed move to a 4-2-2 MOT testing system would cost lives, cost money and would not even be particularly popular.
In addition, it would almost certainly result in a large number of job losses in the motor trade – the number of MOT tests performed each year would fall by roughly half, leaving a lot of garages and mechanics out of work.
The campaign to save the MOT needs your support and PRO-MOTE has setup an online petition through which you can sign up and be counted – click here to sign up.
To find out more, visit www.pro-mote.org.uk – or leave a comment below to let us know what you think.