Annual MOT tests to remain
A while ago the government was considering changing the way we maintained our cars. The bods in Westminster pondered that it would be a great idea to relax MOT test regularity.
Initial plans saw one of three schedules considered... Option one saw the first test after four years, then annual tests. Option two meant no test until the car was four years old, another two years after that, then annual testing. The final, third, option considered was an MOT after four years, then every other year for the following six years with annual testing afterwards.
Thankfully these odd and confusing ideas have been dropped in favour of the system already in place. It's worked for fifty-odd years and no one's had any major objection thus far – especially the 19,000 MOT test station owners in the UK.
The testing schedule will continue thus: After initial registration the car is given three years' grace without an MOT, then it will need testing annually.
On top of maintaining the current system, the government will aim to incorporate three other things:
1. Mechanics and test centres will be encouraged to take up industry codes of practise, such as the OFT-approved schemes.
2. MOT certificates will be changed to include the last three years' mileage, as well as the mileage on the day of the test to help motorists spot 'clocked' cars.
3. 'Mystery shoppers' will be sent in to MOT centres to ensure they're at the top of their game.
All the decisions made have been praised from all corners of the automotive industry.
Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, commented: "Government will encourage garages to take up industry codes of practice to ensure a consistent and high quality approach to testing, thereby building consumer confidence and satisfaction. Industry will continue to work with the OFT-backed consumer protection scheme, Motor Codes, to play its part in improving standards across the service and repair sector."
Transport Secretary Justine Greening is also pleased with the move, saying: "Our garages are crucial to ensuring that Britain's roads continue to be among the safest in the world."
MB&G, insurance and warranty specialists added: "In these tough economic times, motorists are trying to save money wherever they can, and unfortunately one of the first places they look to do this is on vehicle maintenance and repairs. We have already seen the AA reporting fewer people servicing their cars, so we are relieved to hear the government has decided to keep the 3-1-1 system."
It was worrying that the government saw fit to 'fix' a 50 year old process that ain't broke. Perhaps they could look at the 70mph speed limit before they fiddle with mechanical safety?