12 May 2023

Plans push back MoT to four years cause concern for drivers and mechanics

By Road Runner

Calling the 4-1-1

Named the 4-1-1 system (meaning the first MoT would be at four or five years, then annually), the proposals drawn up by the Department for Transport (DfT) are estimated to save drivers as a whole, between £91 million and £117 million every year. While this may sound like a good idea in terms of saving money during an ongoing cost of living crisis, a number of industry specialists (as reported in GarageWire) have been calling this nothing short of “dangerous, expensive, damaging, and unnecessary.”

Our survey said…

In a survey of 1784 drivers, commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a hefty 67 percent shared concerns that curtailing the time before an initial MoT was a possible danger to lives, with serious faults in the car not being addressed. So, what about that financial saving for drivers? Well, most of those who took part would rather pay the £35-£45 certification charge and know that their vehicle is fully roadworthy, as opposed to delaying something that might end up being a far greater cost, on all levels. The survey and comments from mechanics reflect a greater concern that unchecked issues may lead to accidents, and possibly road-related deaths.

Aside from this rather gloomy takeaway, around 87 percent of the survey respondents were keen to learn more about alternative ways of saving – maybe a reduction in fuel duty or vehicle excise duty would be worthy of further investigation by the DoT?

Frequent first-time failures

The other aspect to the debate is that, according to the SMMT, more than 300,000 new cars fail their first MOT every year – which if you are a mechanic or MOT specialist technician may not be a total surprise. The key reasons for failure  –  just in case you’re not dealing with this on a regular basis  –  are safety issues with tyres, brakes, lights, and suspension; much of which is down to drivers failing to check these things on a regular basis. Because new cars just don’t go wrong, right? Wrong.

But before we get derailed into a whole other conversation on THAT, here’s another survey stat. 66 percent of participants stated that they couldn’t buy a three-year-old car WITHOUT an industry  MoT. Which would be bad news for the used-car market.

Thumbs-down from the motor trade

But it’s not just drivers in the survey that are expressing strong misgivings to this proposal – it’s coming from many industry professionals as well.

Stuart James, CEO of the Independent Garage Association (IGA) added his expert opinion when talking to Auto Express. “Based on the research and member feedback compiled when writing our consultation response, it is clear that any changes made will impact road safety far more than the Government anticipates.

The IGA and Garage Equipment Association (GEA) having given their backing to an industry-wide petition running until July to stop this matter being even considered for discussion in Parliament.

Are MoTs your “bread and butter at work? How do you think the new plans would impact your business on top of the risk of more dangerous vehicles being on our roads? Head over to our social pages and get your opinions and thoughts added to the comments.

Mechanic toolbox

At Road Runner our business is to protect your business, and the people within it. When you take out adequate insurance and abide by Health & Safety legislation – meaning LIA (legitimate interests’ assessment)  and possibly D&O (directors and officers) as well –  your mechanics are properly insured.

But we know that you never want to be in a position to make this sort of claim, so apart from following the advice and precautions set by the HSE, call us today on 03301 00 87 20, or request a quote or call-back here.