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Annual MOTs could be scrapped

Written by: Emma Lunn
Under government plans drivers could only be required to get an MOT on their car every two years, instead of annually.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps reportedly raised the idea at a cabinet meeting after prime minister Boris Johnson asked ministers for ideas to help the cost-of-living crisis – but with the caveat that any plans wouldn’t mean increased government spending.

An MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards. The current rules mean that you need to get an MOT within three years of your car’s first registration, then each year after that. It’s illegal to drive without an MOT and your insurance could be invalidated if you drive without an MOT in place.

An MOT costs £54.85 for a car and £29.65 for a motorbike. That means drivers would save about £27 a year and motorcyclists £15 if the idea was implemented.

Experts have raised concerns that biennial MOTs would make the roads more dangerous while also impacting thousands of jobs in MOT test centres.

Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of policy, said: “The purpose of an MOT is to ensure vehicles meet a basic level of safety for driving on our roads. Shifting it from annually to every two years would see a dramatic increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles and could make our roads far less safe.”

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “Though well intended, moving the yearly £55 spend on an MOT to every two years could make costs worse for drivers with higher repair bills, whilst putting safety and jobs in the garage industry and at risk.

“Only recently the government stepped away from switching the MOT to every two years on the grounds of road safety, while AA polling shows overwhelming support from drivers who like the security that an annual health check provides.

“The MOT now highlights major and dangerous defects too, showing how important it is to keep cars in a safe condition. Rather than fiddling at the edges, drivers would rather see pump price transparency to revive competition on the forecourts or expanding Park & Ride schemes so drivers can avoid higher inner-city driving costs.”

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