Over the weekend the Secretary of State for Transport, Phillip Hammond, appeared in a number of national newspapers stating that the Department for Transport is seriously considering a reduction in the frequency in MOT testing to 4 years after purchasing a new car, then every two years thereafter.
Stuart James, RMI director commented “We understand the consumer is seeing the move as a chance to save money on their MOT bills. However the savings of as little as £25 a year will only escalate the repair bills that will come with bi-annual testing.
More and more evidence is being produced to show that record levels of cars and vans are failing their MOTs. Maintenance standards are slipping due to the lack of money car users currently have at their disposal. This will in turn have a knock on effect on the safety of road users. This proposal could not come at a worse time for both garage owners and road users.”
The move comes despite warnings from a study published by the Department of Transport in 2008 highlighting that the safety of road users throughout the UK could be seriously undermined by the proposed change to the MOT testing system.
John Ball, RMI MOT chairman commented “In 2008 the Department for Transport produced a report on this very subject that stated that such a change to the frequency of MOT testing could result in 400 extra road deaths a year. However this weekend the Transport Retail Laboratory working on behalf of the Department for Transport sent out a report stating that a change to 422 would ‘only’ see an extra 16-30 road deaths a year. Why has there been such a change in these numbers? We need to know exactly what we are dealing with for the sake of the public’s safety. We are talking about lives being lost as a result of this move.”
The RMI are very aware that such a move would have a major impact on service and repair garages throughout the UK. Business would be cut significantly in an already difficult climate.
The RMI intend to continue to lobby against the move on behalf of its members. Senior officials at the Department of Transport are very keen to work with key trade organisations and consult them when reviewing this move. The RMI are taking a leading role in the fight against the change and will continue to challenge the assumption made by the TRL model at the weekend. It is with the joint interest of road user’s safety and the protection of RMI members businesses and jobs that we do this.