4-year MoT exemption period could save YOU money!

The time that new commercial vehicles can drive on Britain's roads before needing an MoT test could be rising from THREE to FOUR years – if the government's new proposals are taken on! Vanarama Content Editor Tom Roberts reports.

2018 is the year that the period before an MoT test is first carried out on a new vehicle could change, thanks to a public consultation already underway. The consultation is examining the MOT testing for new vans and cars with the possibility of extending the first MoT exemption period for new commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes.

If it comes into force, the change could mean 2.2 million drivers every year will avoid buying a new MOT, saving an estimated £100m a year. MOTs normally cost around £50, with the price capped at a max of £54.85. It also means one more year before asking "when is my MOT due".

Why is there a public consultation?

This sort of 4-year exemption is already operating in Northern Ireland and many European nations – and if it comes to Britain will also cover motorcycles. It's not the first time its been looked at, but despite many other European countries putting in place, England, Wales and Scotland have yet to follow.

Last year, the AA carried out a poll of more than 19,000 drivers in November. The results showed that 44% were in favour of the 4-year exemption, 26% were opposed, and the rest had no opinion either way. AA president Edmund King commented: "The benefits are that there will be cost and time savings for drivers, while the downside is that we are likely to see some more cars with faulty tyres and lights slipping through the net."

Should the exemption be increased to 4 years?

The argument for yes, is simply because modern vehicles are now boasting safer technology and better manufacturing practices. Roads minister Andrew Jones said: "We have some of the safest roads in the world and MOT tests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles on our roads. 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."

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI), however, is against the move, with director Stuart James calling it "unnecessary" citing the state of our roads and increased average miles driven as reasons why a 4-year MOT gap would "cost consumers more in repair costs, incentivise 'clockers' and be detrimental to the UK's excellent road safety record for no particular gain".

What do you think? Should the MOT exemption period be upped to FOUR years?

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