BREAKING: Government launches 4-1-1 consultation

Comments open until April 16th 2017

Published:  22 January, 2017

The UK Government has launched its proposal for the MOT exemption for new cars to be extended to four years.

The move was first announced by now ex-Chancellor George Osborne during his budget in July 2015. As this was announced in the house, the plans had to go to consultation, although there has been some delay.

In a document, published on the DVSA website, Andrew Jones, Parliamentry Under-Secretary of State for Transport writes: "The MOT test originated in 1960, with the three-year date for the first test being introduced in 1967. Northern Ireland operates a four-year date for cars and motorcycles and three years for vans. Many other European countries, including France, Ireland, Italy and Spain, as well as Denmark and Norway (which are amongst a group of countries alongside the UK with very good road safety records in Europe), have the first test at four years. Others such as Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden start testing at three years. France, Germany and Denmark require testing every other year after the initial test.

"Safety improvements applied to new vehicles continue to improve public safety as older vehicles are replaced. Improvements to safety standards for new cars continue to be

implemented, with the UK Government taking an active role in international negotiations to secure more.

"Safer vehicles are one of five areas identified in the British Road Safety Statement where the Government is taking action alongside many others. For example, it is legislating for connected and autonomous vehicles and tackling further the distraction caused by hand held mobile phone use."

As with all consultations, options are given.

The paper suggests that following Option 2, there would be 8.3% fewer MOTs carried out, based on figures taken from 2013/14. However, taking the record 2016 new car registrations figures into account, this means that should Option 2 go ahead, there will be at least an extra 2.5 million vehicles on the road in 2019/20 without an MOT certificate.

The proposal also states: "It should be noted that separately from the proposals set out here, we are considering the appropriateness of the current MOT test fees. We hope to consult separately on test fees in 2017."

Speaking to Aftermarket when the proposals were announced, IGA Director Stuart James said: "This will have an impact on the UK's impeccable road safety record. It was clearly outlined that they were doing this to save consumers money and I would like to see how they've calculated those numbers. Plus there is the moral dilemma of how much for a human life? The 2008 report from VOSA, as it was then, states that such a move would cause 55 additional road deaths per year, that is the government's own figures. The TRL report in 2011 states 12 additional road deaths, while our own report estimated 35 additional deaths. Whatever figures you look at, the truth is that more people will die as a result of that action. Also, cost of vehicle repair will go up so while the government might perceive the MOT is a burden on the motorist, I believe the motorist won't see it that way."

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