“There is a mistaken view within Government circles that MoTs should be every two years because cars are more reliable,” says Jim Punter, Forum chairman.
“A two-year test would decimate MoT test stations, which make a significant contribution to road safety. We are appalled that the Government is considering this change, which could increase deaths and injuries because there would be more undetected vehicle safety faults.”
Punter will tell the Forum meeting there would also be a fall in the number of spares needed, because many repairs are triggered by the first MoT.
The idea of a two-year MoT has been attributed to Gordon Brown but Punter believes it came from a political advisor in the cabinet office.
“Someone wants to make the chancellor of the exchequer seem motorist friendly. “We believe that up to 100 more people a year would die in road accidents if there were a two-year test. These deaths, and injuries, all carry a price, and the total amount would far outweigh a saving for motorists of around £50 a year.”
Ray Holloway, director of the RMIF’s Independent Garage Association, is talking to VOSA and the Department for Transport about this “unrealistic plan”.
In addition to road safety issues, he believes pollution would rise because around 15% of vehicles fail on exhaust emissions.
Holloway says the announcement of such an idea is premature, as the DfT is planning to consult the industry next year over longer gaps between MoTs.
“The Treasury may pick up a sizeable cost as the two-year proposal would be utterly disastrous for technicians at MoT test stations,” he says. “Many are owned by small and medium businesses in rural areas– and they might not survive.”