The National Tyre Distributors Association, (NTDA), has reported that many of its members who carry out MOTs are becoming increasingly concerned at the prospect of a delayed first test for new vehicles. Experienced MOT testers across the UK are saying that delaying the first test from year 3 to year 4, simply adds another year during which the vehicle can become damaged or parts can become worn out or defective. With some figures suggesting that one in five vehicles fail the MOT in the first 3 years, adding another year will not only exacerbate the problem, but also mean that many vehicles will no longer be covered by most vehicle manufactures 3 year warranties.
Stefan Hay, Director of the NTDA commented: “The key question, when any change to MOT frequency is being considered is whether the time and money motorists would save by, for example, a delayed first test, will be outweighed by the consequences. The key concern is how we would be able to ensure that vehicles remain in a safe condition in the event that the first test is postponed for a further year. With recent figures released by consumer safety body Tyresafe and Highways England showing that more than a quarter of all drivers had an unsafe illegal tyre on their vehicle, at the time they were replaced, we very much doubt it and believe this change would result in a further loss of control, less opportunity for our members to carry out critical safety inspections and a new and unacceptable high cost to society as a result of additional road traffic collisions which testing at the current frequency definitely helps avoid”.
In October 2014, the NTDA released a number of press articles based on the 2013 MOT failure statistics. These showed that MOT testers considered the tyres on 229,583 vehicles to be in a dangerous condition and issued ‘dangerous to drive’ defect notes. Furthermore, in 2013, MOT failures due to tyres occurred in 7,7% of all tests amounting to 2.05 million vehicles of which the majority was due to excessive wear. Previous attempts to change the frequency of MOT tests have all met with opposition from trade bodies such as the NTDA and have been abandoned by previous Governments on the grounds of having a potential detrimental impact on safety.
Stefan Hay continued: “We have campaigned for years to improve the quality of the MOT tests and tyres are not only of interest to us as our obvious area of specialism, but also, and more importantly, because they are the safety critical components that keep the vehicle on the road. We need Government to work with us to make motorists more aware of essential vehicle maintenance and not new Government policies designed to keep the electorate pacified”.