‘Cost-cutting’ MOT proposals are “farcical”, says major car comparison site

Government proposals to delay the first MOT to four years and lengthen subsequent intervals would increase the number of dangerous vehicles on UK roads, whilst failing to reduce motorists’ costs, says BookMyGarage.com.

Data obtained from the DVSA1 shows around one-in-eight (13.1%) three-year-old vehicles fail their first legally required MOT test with a major or dangerous defect, with this figure rising to 15.4% for four-year-old vehicles. Therefore, delaying the first MOT to four-year-old vehicles could see hundreds of thousands of additional vehicles on UK roads with safety defects.

Increasing the MOT interval for subsequent tests also poses a danger, with DVSA data2 showing that over 29% of the 31.6 million Class 3 & 4 MOT tests conducted in 2021/22 resulted in failure. More concerningly, nearly one-in-102 (8%) vehicles failed a test with a ‘dangerous defect’ – a fault requiring an immediate repair before the vehicle can return to the road.

Karen Rotberg, Co-founder of BookMyGarage.com, said: “The fact the Government is pitching these proposed changes as a way to save motorists money is farcical. On average, drivers pay £35.52 for an MOT test booked through our website – that’s less than the cost of half a tank of petrol in a typical family car. The reality is that most motorists prioritise safety over costs and the price of an MOT is only a tiny part of the overall bill that drivers face.

“We do of course welcome any measures that can help motorists to save money – especially during a cost-of-living crisis – but any proposal which risks compromising on vehicle safety is not a solution. Increasing the interval between MOT tests puts greater onus on the driver to ensure their vehicle is in safe and roadworthy condition at all times, and we know from our research that not all motorists feel confident carrying out checks themselves.”

A BookMyGarage.com survey of 2,000 motorists also showed 27% of motorists never check the condition of their tyres and 58% don’t check to see if lights are working.

“Remember, even if a vehicle has a valid MOT certificate, driving a vehicle with a dangerous defect can land the driver with fines, penalty points and even invalidate their insurance. For example, a defective tyre can result in a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.

“We recognise that these are challenging times for many people, but we can help drivers save money on their MOT tests, servicing and repairs by making it easy to compare prices from local, trusted garages.”

On average, motorists paid 35%3 less for an MOT booked through BookMyGarage.com on the government-set maximum price of £54.85.

Over six million drivers have now compared local prices to book MOTs, servicing and repairs using BookMyGarage.com, channelling millions of pounds of new income to its 9,000 franchised and independent partners.


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