Dealers have been told not to be concerned about possible changes to the MoT.
In the UK, vehicles must have their first test within three years of registration, and annual tests thereafter.
As a minimum, EU law requires vehicles to have their first test when they are four years old and subsequent tests every two years.
Most European countries follow the EU minimum requirement and there is pressure on the UK to do the same.
The Department for Transport is considering the options.
In his speech Mike Penning, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, told the audience at the Retail Motor Industry Federation’s annual dinner in London last night there was no cause for concern.
“Please don’t worry about changes to the MoT test,” he said.
“This is not about Europe saying we have to go to four years and two. What I’m trying to look at is a ensuring we have safe cars on the road depending on the mileage they have done.”
He talked about matching the timing of the test to the mileage on the car, questioning the sense of "company cars that may have done up to 100,000 miles and commercial vehicles double that before they have their first MoT test".
MP Penning, a former soldier, fireman and political journalist, said he was talking to the industry, including the RMI, about “not taking cars away from test centres, but get them there at the right time”.
In his speech he also praised the sector: “We cannot get ourselves out of this economic mess without growth and businesses like you guys operate is what we need to go forward.
“I want you to be successful, to be entrepreneurial, and I want banks to lend to you and I want interest rates to be low so people to buy cars. That’s the best barometer of growth.
“You have a friend in the department of transport.”
> The RMI is part of an MoT Working Group.
The group, chaired by RMI’s MoT chairman John Ball, will meet for the first time in November, and will include representatives from the testing industry.
Following an announcement from the Department for Transport that the 50 year old MoT test will be subject to a review later this year, the RMI met with Penning and was asked to advise on the issues affecting the industry and the implications of an MoT review.
The working group will provide a forum for discussion of MoT policy and allow for dialogue on the safety issues surrounding the MoT test.
For more information about the MoT working group please contact Hannah Burke – 020 7307 3422