Changes To MOT Test Could Be Deadly, Says What Car?

What Car? is urging the Government to ditch a plan to introduce two-yearly MOT tests.

At present, all vehicles over three years old must have an MOT test every year. Under the new proposals motorists will only have to have their cars checked every other year.

The new proposals also mean that new cars will not have their first test until they are four rather than three years old.

Steve Fowler What Car? Editor said: “The move to a two-yearly test is misleading for consumers who may think they are saving money, but MOT test prices will rise as garages close due to lack of business and competition declines.

“Although modern cars are more reliable, that shouldn’t be confused with safety. This proposal has no safety or financial benefits for any road user.”

According to Government statistics 3% of all fatal accidents are caused by vehicle defects. That means that of the 3201 fatalities on Britain’s roads in 2005, 96 were caused by defective vehicles. Dodgy cars also caused 580 serious injuries and 4777 slight injuries.

Currently 29% of UK cars already fail the annual test, of those 14.9% relate to defective lights, 11% steering faults, 10% brakes and 8% down to tyres. The next biggest failure rate is down to emission and visibility problems.

The UK has the lowest record of deaths per 100,000 in the UK, Sweden is the second lowest and Holland is third, all operating a yearly MOT inspection system.  Most European countries that operate a two-year system have higher road deaths per 100,000.

‘We cannot allow our roads to become any more dangerous. Well maintained, safe cars are an absolute priority for all road users and pedestrians alike,’ commented Steve Fowler.

The MOT Trade Forum forecast that if the move to a two-year check is adopted and delayed by an additional year we will see up to 150 more road deaths per year and many more major and minor associated injuries.

18 February 2007 Staff

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