MOTs are required each year, to ensure that the vehicles on our roads are safe to be driven. Current laws require a first MOT three years after vehicle registration and annually thereafter.
An MOT checks a range of car parts, from the tyres, braking and fuel systems, to steering, seatbelts wipers, lights and exhaust. It is an important check to ensure the car meets legal standards to be driven on the road.
First introduced in 1960, the test was originally required ten years after a vehicle’s registration, and from then on annually. In 1967 the time for the first MOT was reduced to three years after registration – as it remains today.
The government is now considering whether to move to testing every two years, rather than every year, as is currently required. But motoring groups have warned that such a move would result in thousands of cars becoming ‘death traps on wheels’.
A major concern is that cars, vans and motorbikes could be driving around with brakes and tyres which do not meet the minimum legal requirements and are therefore not safe to be driven on the roads. Within two years, without any independent checks or maintenance, a car could easily have bald tyres and no brakes, making an accident significantly more likely.
Although we should all make regular checks on our vehicles to ensure roadworthiness, this does not always happen, and not all vehicle owners are concerned with car safety.
Some claim that motorists will save money by only gave to pay for a check-up once every two years, but this may be a false economy; delaying checks means that faults can build up over time and potentially become more expensive.
In addition, approved test centres would see a significant drop in income.
Overwhelmingly, the worry is that road deaths and injuries will increase under these proposals. We should be working towards greater road safety rather than less.