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Industry calls for rethink on MOT proposals

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Road safety groups and motoring organisations have come together to urge the UK Government to reconsider proposed changes to the rules on MOTs.

The cross-industry campaign, ProMOTe, claims that the plans are "dangerous, expensive and unnecessary".

The Government said in January that it was launching a consultation on proposals to extend the period before the first MOT test is needed from the current three years to four.

Cars driving through a tunnelAnnouncing the consultation, transport minister Andrew Jones said: "New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago and so it is only right we bring the MOT test up to date to help save motorists money where we can."

If the plan is implemented, around 2.2 million drivers every year will avoid buying a new MOT.

However, organisations including Road Safety GB, the Retail Motor Industry Federation, Halfords and Micheldever Tyre Services argue that the current requirement for a first MOT at three years is important for road safety.

Micheldever Group chief executive Duncan Wilkes commented: "It's incredibly frustrating that once again we find ourselves having to devote time and energy to set straight an ill-founded proposal to change the MOT regime. MOT legislation has been twice reviewed in the last decade with each concluding that the current system remains as valid today as it was when established in 1960. That, just four years on from the last comprehensive review, a further consultation has been instigated is baffling.

Car with lights flashing by"The facts remain as before: the MOT is a necessary and affordable safety check that plays a vital role in keeping our roads amongst the safest in the world, and extending the grace period to four years will have detrimental effect. One in five cars fails its first MOT, and the figure for vans is steeper still. With around 2.5 million new cars sold each year, that equates to some 500,000 cars that could be in use around with unidentified and dangerous faults.

"Cars may be becoming safer and more reliable, however consumable items that are vital to a vehicle's performance and safety -- especially tyres -- are still subject to wear and tear. Indeed, DVSA data tells us that one in 20 cars fails their first MOT test due to tyre defects. Couple this with the findings of the recent study undertaken by TyreSafe and Highways England, that showed how millions of motorists do not check or maintain their tyres and only replace them in order to pass an MOT, it is not an exaggeration to say that to remove this timely safety check is to effectively allow dangerous vehicles to remain in use without intervention for a further 12 months."

As well as ensuring a robust industry response to the consultation, ProMOTe is supporting an official petition to urge government to rethink the proposed changes.

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