Euro Car Parts has voiced its support of maintaining the current 3-1-1 MOT test over concerns that safety will be compromised if the date of a car’s first MOT is extended to four years.
To draw public attention to the issue, Euro Car Parts has registered an official Government petition to urge decision-makers to rethink the proposed changes to current MOT legislation.
The company is asking workshops to sign the petition, or to respond to the government’s online consultation, to highlight the level of concern.
Martin Gray, CEO of Euro Car Parts, said: “The MOT picks up safety critical problems and ensures defects are put right, so that the owner is driving a car that can protect them properly.
"The current MOT test is proven to improve road safety standards, so we should be looking to support a system that is working rather than change something that has shown good results in recent years.
“While the impact of the proposed change on businesses like Euro Car Parts is minimal, the wider implications for the industry are significant.
"There are more than 29 million MOT tests carried out at 22,000 garages every year, so moving to a four-year MOT proposal represents a real threat to jobs.
"This is a concern not just for the aftermarket but for the broader UK economy.”
Euro Car Parts says official figures from 2015-2016 reveal that around 17% of cars fail their first MOT on their initial attempt, so extending a car’s first MOT to four years could result in an extra 411,958 unsafe cars on the roads and risk higher accident rates.
The current three-year-for-first MOT system ensures vehicle defects are picked up and remedied quickly, to ensure the safety of all road users.
In 2016, technicians identified more than 400,000 potentially fatal vehicle defects, including 24,628 suspension failures and 47,138 brake failures.
In the same year, 92,938 fewer car accidents were recorded in the UK compared to the same 2005 statistics, a result that has been attributed to improved vehicle safety, a standard that is enforced by the current MOT system.
Furthermore, 85,720 failures on cars taking their first MOT are due to tyres. Tyresafe, in partnership with Highways England, found that millions of motorists only replace tyres when required in order to pass the MOT. If the MOT deadline is extended by an additional year, this could mean 28,573 extra unsafe tyres on UK roads.