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First MOT test to remain at three years

The Government has decided to maintain the period before a car’s first MOT test at three years.

The decision follows a Department for Transport consultation last year on changing the wait before the first test to four years.

Changing the time period until the first test would have saved motorists more than £100 million a year. However, most of those responding to the consultation were against the proposal on safety grounds, arguing that the savings were outweighed by the risk to road users and that the test often highlights upcoming issues affecting the vehicle. A public survey for the DfT by Populus also showed that fewer than half of people were in favour of the change.

“We have some of the safest roads in the world, and are always looking at ways of making them safer,” Roads Minister Jesse Norman said. “Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MOT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk. We are looking at further research to ensure the MOT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.”

In 2016 (the most recent figures available), more than 2.4 million cars had their first MOT, which costs owners a maximum of £54.85. The pass rate was about 85% and the most common reasons for failure included lighting, tyres and braking faults.