Significant MOT rule change ‘risks safety’ of motorists - ‘Sticking plaster approach!’

Significant MOT rule change ‘risks safety’ of motorists - ‘Sticking plaster approach!’

Howard Cox says the safety of motorists is at risk with the proposed change

GB News
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 22/03/2023

- 17:12

The Department for Transport (DfT) are working on a plot to save motorists money during the cost-of-living crisis

Proposed MOT changes that could see tests take place every four years as opposed to three have been blasted by a campaigner, who says it poses a risk to the safety motorists.

The Department for Transport (DfT) are working on a plot to save motorists money during the cost-of-living crisis by delaying MOTs for 12 months.

A new survey, commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found more than two-thirds of UK car owners believe the proposed relaxation would have a detrimental impact on road safety, potentially putting lives in danger.

Speaking to GB News, Howard Cox of FairFuel UK says the proposed move suggests the Government are not considering the safety of motorists.

Howard Cox and an MOT test

Howard Cox says the Government do not have the best interests of motorists at heart

GB News / PA

He said: “The actual test itself is Government-controlled. It shouldn’t be influenced by any outside source apart from the state of your vehicle.

“This particular survey shows that the majority of motorists believe safety is more important than saving a few pounds.

“We’re talking about £40-£60, the typical cost of an MOT. Civil servants have worked on this to try and produce a wonderful headline where they say they’re saving the motorist a certain amount without considering the safety.

“There’s so many factors in terms of the safety of vehicles. If you’re driving 50,000 miles a year, then you should be being tested once or twice a year in my opinion.

Person driving a car

An MOT lasts a year


“If you’re driving 10,000 then maybe every four years works.”

Cox added the possible legislation represents a “headline grab” for the Government and little more.

He told Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster: “It’s peanuts, but it’s a headline that the Government could put across where they claim they’re saving motorists more money.

“I won a fuel duty freeze for the thirteenth consecutive year last week. That is an amazing thing and it’s really saving the motorist.

“What we should be doing is saving much more of the cost on motorists. There’s 37 million of them, if you reduce their costs, the cost of living crisis comes down.

“It should be on tax issues and the profiteering that happens on the fuel supply chain at the pump.

“This is just tinkering. It’s a little sticking plaster. It’s a minutiae sticking plaster approach to the Government pretending they care about the motorist. They don’t.”

More than 300,000 vehicles a year fail their first MOT.

Cars on a motorway

The Government is looking at ways to cut costs for motorists


The tests check a number of parts such as lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes to ensure they meet legal standards.

The survey from SMMT suggests the typical cost of an MOT is worth the price due to the peace of mind it provides, with nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) agreeing with the sentiment.

The organisation believes the proposed delay would result in the average new vehicle owner saving as little as 23p a week over three years.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Safety is the number one priority for the automotive industry and the MOT is a crucial component in keeping the UK’s vehicles and roads safe.

“Our survey shows that drivers support the existing MOT frequency and that there is little appetite to change it, despite the increased cost of living.

“If changes to the MOT are to be made, these should enable testing of advanced electrified powertrains, driver assistance technologies and connected and automated features, as drivers value the peace of mind the MOT offers.”

The DFT believe its proposal could save motorists around £100 million a year and bring Britain’s rules on tests for new vehicles in line with European countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Denmark.

A DfT spokesperson said: “Road safety is an absolute priority, but as car technology becomes more advanced and fewer new vehicles fail MOT tests, we are considering whether an initial test at 3 years remains necessary in this age.

“The move would align with the many other countries in Europe which don’t require roadworthiness tests for the first 4 years, and would also save motorists across Britain around £100 million a year in MOT fees.

“We are currently consulting on the proposed changes and will carefully consider responses before setting out decisions.”

– The survey of 1,784 UK adults with a car in their household was carried out by research company Savanta on February 11 and 12.

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