- David Hort
UK motorists split on MOTs
UK motorists want to keep the current three-one-one MOT schedule, despite remaining sceptical of the test in general.
60 per cent of motorists in the UK want to keep the current MOT schedule, which sees first vehicle checks taken when a car is three years old and then annually thereafter, rather than change to the four-two-two schedule outlined in a new European Union directive.
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The four-two-two schedule is used throughout Europe however the UK has retained its more stringent test, where new cars are tested earlier and more often than their European counterparts, despite disappointing results when compared to other countries.
In the UK, 27 per cent of new cars fail their first MOT after three years on the road – in France just six per cent of new cars fail their first MOT after four years.
According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), those figures and the prospect of delaying the hassle and expense of the MOT, have led to a third of UK motorists deciding that they would prefer a switch to the European four-two-two schedule, however almost double that amount want to keep the current method.
“In a time when people are struggling financially, the MOT seems to be one cost they are happy to pay. The IAM is wary of abandoning our well-established and accepted cycle of MOT testing. The poll suggests that most motorists are happy with it," said IAM chief executive, Simon Best.
Despite the ringing endorsement of the current schedule, British motorists remain split in their opinion of the MOT.
While 63 per cent believe an MOT will pick up on any potential dangers and problems, more than a quarter think that garages deliberately find faults to squeeze money out of motorists.
A further 40 per cent of UK motorists believe there is no consistency between different garages and their MOTs, while another 30 per cent believe garages aren’t independent enough and have too much vested interest to carry out MOTs fairly.
“Before any change to the system, the government should commission a review to assure motorists that MOT tests are safe, reliable and consistent. The test should be for the benefit of road safety – not the garages that carry it out," concluded Best.
Lights and signals are the major stumbling block for UK cars with more than 270,000 cars failing their MOT because of faulty bulbs or electrics, while damaged wheels and tyres and poor visibility complete the top three reasons for MOT failures in the UK.