Don't scrap annual MOTs

Road safety, motoring and industry groups join forces in PRO-MOTE

27 October 2011

Road safety, motoring and industry groups join forces in PRO-MOTE

Road safety, motoring and industry groups join forces in PRO-MOTE

The AA has joined with more than 25 other organisations representing motorists, road safety campaigners, cyclists, small businesses, insurers and the wider motor industry to launch a new campaign to press Ministers to rule out a reduction in the frequency of MOT testing.

The campaign comes less than three weeks after the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond told the Conservative Party conference that he was looking again at ways “to reduce the burden of the MOT test”.

Ministers have announced they intend to review the frequency of the existing testing system and have talked positively about moving away from the existing and successful 3-1-1 system which sees all new cars and vans being tested after three years and every year thereafter.

Britain's roads are the safest in the world, according to the OECD, and the DfT has published figures which show that last year the UK had the lowest number of road deaths since records began.

Most other EU countries have a worse safety record than the UK and operate a 4-2-2 system which tests new cars at four years and then at two-yearly intervals thereafter.

Campaign report

The PRO-MOTE campaign, which has the support of groups such as Brake, the RAC, AA, Kwik Fit, Halfords, Aviva, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Retail Motor Industry Federation, has published a report entitled “Dangerous, Expensive and Unwanted: The case against reducing the frequency of MOT testing”.

The report shows that:

  • the increase in deaths and serious injuries resulting from the increase in the number of defective cars on the road could be up to 3,000 a year – more than 55 a week.
  • any saving to the motorist in terms of fees resulting from the scrapping of annual MOT tests would be far outweighed by the likely increases in insurance premiums and increased repairs costs.
  • an AA/Populus survey (March 201) showed that 94% of drivers think the MOT Test is very (71%) or quite (23%) important to road safety.
  • carbon emissions are likely to increase if annual tests were scrapped and up to 40,000 jobs in the MOT industry, including a large number of apprenticeships, would be at risk.

Early day motion

On 26 October John Woodcock MP tabled early day motion 2308 in the House of Commons.

That this House welcomes recent Department for Transport statistics which show that the number of people killedin road accidents fell by 16 per cent. from 2,222 in 2009 to 1,857 in 2010; notes that this is the lowest figure since national records began in 1926; believes that the annual MOT test plays an important role in ensuring Britain's roads are among the safest in the world; is opposed to any move to reduce the frequency of MOT tests which can only have the effect of increasing the number of defective and unsafe vehicles on the road, increasing accidents and deaths and increasing insurance premiums and the cost of repairs for the law-abiding motorist; and calls on the Government to rule out any weakening of the MOT system as part of its forthcoming review.


The Government should state that they will not change the frequency of MOTs

Edmund King, AA president

Edmund King, AA president, says:“The Government should state that they will not change the frequency of MOTs.”

Nigel Bartram, senior motor underwriting manager at Aviva, says: ”The MOT is the only time some vehicles receive any safety checks and maintenance, and to reduce the frequency of this check could cost lives.”

James Gibson, spokesperson for Road Safety GB says: “Road Safety GB is keen to support the PRO-MOTE campaign – the evidence shows that changing the testing regime will reduce safety on our roads.”

Bill Duffy, Chief Executive of Halfords Autocentres says: “We believe that extending the MOT frequency would be bad news for drivers and bad news for road safety and the environment too.”

Campaign supporters

AA, Andrew Page, Aviva, Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel, Brake, British Cycling,, Euro Car Parts, Federation of Small Businesses, Foxy, Lady Drivers Club , Garage Equipment Association, GEM Motoring Assist, Goodyear Dunlop, Halfords Autocentres, Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation, Kwik Fit, MOTest, MOT Trade Forum, MOT Club, National Tyre Distributors Association, Pirelli, RAC, The Retail Motor Industry Federation, Road Safety Analysis, Road Safety GB, The Scottish Motor Trade Association, Skillnet.

(27 October 2011)