This year has seen a rather unorthodox idea tabled by the UK government. Rather than drivers having their MOT on an annual basis, someone’s suggested, maybe it might be better to have it once every two years instead. Scrapping the annual MOT like this is just one of a range of sweeping measures that the government is considering to tackle the cost of living crisis.
It's safe to say that lots of people have an opinion on this one – including, of course, many of the customers who frequent our own online car auctions here at RAW2K. So, if you’re one of them, and just getting yourself up to speed, here’s what you need to know.
Why has this rule change been proposed?
As we’ve touched on above, it’s mainly an effort to help drivers (and households as a whole) to save money, and thereby assist them in the cost of living crisis. The public’s finances are under pressure from multiple fronts right now – inflation is at a 30-year high, and the ongoing fuel crisis is now being complicated by numerous more supply issues due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Under the proposed changes, ministers hope that drivers could save more than £55 per year. It was originally endorsed by then-Transport Minister Grant Shapps at a Cabinet meeting back in the Spring, in response to then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s urging of his own MPs to find innovative solutions for the challenges.
Of course, all that was more than six months back – or to put it in the somewhat unique terms of 2022, two governments ago. Right now though, it looks like Rishi Sunak’s government is equally committed to the idea.
What’s been the reaction?
It’s not been positive. The Labour Party have moved against it, as have various industry bodies, and apparently the majority of drivers.
In the words of the RAC’s head of policy, for example, “the purpose of an MOT is to ensure vehicles meet a basic level of safety for driving on our roads. Shifting it from annually to every two years would see a dramatic increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles and could make our roads far less safe.”
The RAC conducted its own surveys and as far as public surveys go, the results were relatively clear-cut: more than 55% of the 1435 surveyed felt it was a very bad idea, whereas only a fifth (22%) said they thought it was a good idea. A similar number (23%) said they weren’t sure.
Why are 55% of drivers against it?
• 98% said they felt it would result in more unsafe vehicles on the road
• 20% feel it would lead to an increase in vehicle collisions
• 61% think it would result in more vehicles breaking down
• 58% think it would end up costing drivers more in the long run on bigger repairs
• 44% think garages could raise their prices on other repairs to compensate for lost earnings
Why are 22% of drivers supporting it?
• 74% said modern cars are more reliable and don’t need annual checks
• 54% think it could save the money
• 41% said they check their car for basic roadworthiness and don’t need it as a service
So when are the rules changing?
We don’t know yet, but crucially – they haven’t done yet! That means all of the same laws still apply – right now, every car that’s more than 3 years old has to have an up-to-date MOT certificate every year. That will cost about £55 for cars, and £30 for motorbikes, although it varies depending on vehicle type.
Trust us when we say that if the government does get around to implementing this policy (and right now it’s a big if, not a when), it’ll be big news, so you’re not going to miss it. Until then, always make sure your MOT is valid! Drivers who get caught without a valid MOT (dated within the last 12 months) could find themselves facing a fine of up to £1000, regardless of the state of the car. And if it’s in a state of disrepair, or been deemed actively dangerous by a failed MOT, then that fine can go up to £2,500, potentially along with the driver receiving three penalty points on their licence, and at least a temporary ban from driving.
However, you only really have to worry about all that if you’re planning on driving the car in question. If you’re just planning on taking it to pieces, or stripping it down for scrap, a valid MOT needn’t be a concern. And that’s exactly where we can help here at RAW2K. In our online vehicle auctions, you’ll find a whole host of vehicles from the likes of Volkswagen, Renault and Ford, as well as a raft of other leading manufacturers. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?