22 March 2023
More than three quarters of drivers (77%*) do not wish to change the annual MOT according to a poll carried out by the AA. The poll of more than 14,500 drivers was asked following a proposal from the government about changing the vehicle safety test from every 12 months to every 24 months.
The survey also found that more than nine out of 10 drivers (92%) say that an annual MOT plays a key role in keeping dangerous vehicles off the road. Three quarters (75%) of drivers said that the with the advancement of driver assistance and varying levels of autonomous technology being introduced on cars these too should form part of the annual test.
“On safety grounds alone, it would be foolish to move away from an annual test”
Alongside the survey, the AA has released photos of vehicles submitted for MOTs in dangerous conditions to highlight the types of dangerous faults that are regularly seen by MOT testers across the country.
The photos include a broken wing mirror, bald tyre, heavily scuffed brake discs, a damaged seat belt buckle and a ripped undertray.
A dangerously bald tyre
Seat belt buckle broken
Wing mirror broken off
A consultation on the future of the MOT which considers moving to a test every 24 months rather than 12 months, and having the first MOT at four years rather than three, closes on Wednesday**. It also asks for comments about expanding the items checked to take into account the rise of electric vehicles and the prospect of partial and fully autonomous vehicle technology on vehicles.
The AA’s submission to the consultation argues against changing the frequency of testing but supports modernising the requirements of the MOT.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “On safety grounds alone, it would be foolish to move away from an annual test and indeed moving the first MOT to four years as many cars show up with brake or tyre defects in that period. Our photos are evidence that some vehicles are kept on the road in varying degrees of disrepair, with more than a quarter (27.88%***) of cars and vans initially failing their MOT.
“Modernising and future-proofing the MOT is a natural next step and will help give consumers confidence should they purchase an electric car, one with highly complex driver assistance packages or indeed a connected car.
“Similarly, a fifth (20%) of drivers believe it is worth investigating if MOTs can be carried out away from garages in an effort to help drivers stay on the road. In the future we believe that various aspects of the MOT could be carried out remotely using connected car technology.”
* Yonder conducted an online sample of 14,668 UK adults aged 18-65+ between 14-21 February 2023. Data is weighted to be representative of the population of the UK. Targets for quotas and weights are taken from the PAMCO survey, a random probability survey conducted annually with 35,000 adults. Yonder is a founding member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For further information see http://www.britishpollingcouncil.org/
Of those that expressed an opinion 77% (7256) opposed the changes with just 23% (2141) in favour.
** Changes to the date of the first MOT test and research into other MOT enhancements - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
*** MOT testing data for Great Britain - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)