Changes have been proposed to the annual MoT test, the biggest of which will mean that it may no longer be annual. And those who make a living at the ‘aftermarket’ end of the industry – aka service and repair – are not happy.
The MoT operates on what we call a 3-1-1 basis, which means the first one is after three years, then it’s every 12 months. The change would see it move to 4-2-2. It means that over a 10-year period a car would go from having eight tests to just four. The feeling is that cars and components are more reliable now than ever before and don’t have to be checked every year. The Government estimates it will save drivers millions of pounds.
The downside to this – and what the industry is not happy about – is that less testing means less work for garages. And not just doing MoTs; currently drivers put their cars into the shop once a year because they have to, and get other stuff done at the same time. It could be a bit of a new trim, a bump knocked out or a paint touch-up.
The industry reckons that over an extended period of time, the change to 4-2-2 could cost up to 100,000 jobs. It also has safety concerns, because one of the major reasons for MoT failure is poor maintenance of consumable items such as tyres and brakes. Less inspection of them could lead to more accidents, it believes. Neither side seems prepared to shift on the proposal, but ultimately what the Government wants it usually gets.