Discussion on MOT test at four years, not three

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It’s one of those tasks that crops up every year without warning and usually results in misery and expense, but the MoT test is a reality of motoring life for anyone with a car of three years or older.

While it may feel more like an irritation than an important piece of legislation, it demonstrates that a vehicle is roadworthy in the eyes of the law - at least for a while after it is issued.

That may be under threat after an announcement that the Government is considering reducing the frequency of the test as well as extending by one year the age at which new vehicles are required to have a test. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: “Car technology has come a long way since the 1960s when our MoT regime was introduced.

“That’s why we think it is right to look again to check whether we still have the right balance of MoT testing for modern vehicles.

“If we can move from first test at four years and yearly thereafter to four years, then two and then yearly, motorists could save £100.

“This will be a genuine consultation and we want to work with the industry and motorists to get the decision absolutely right.”

Many motorists would welcome the financial respite, but there is an important safety aspect to the proposal.

Research commissioned by the Department for Transport suggests that moving the first test back by one year would result in two additional deaths, which on the face of it seems modest but it is safe to assume that the number of serious injuries will be much greater.

The MoT test also represents the only maintenance many cars will see for a whole year. As modern vehicles go further between services and notify you of problems, we have become less able to sort any issues ourselves and the day of the regular under-bonnet check are long gone.Any attempt to cut the costs of motoring is welcome but the price is greater responsibility for our own cars - for the sake of others.