Fleet News

One in 10 motorists taking ‘dangerous defects’ risk

Mechanic checking car tyre in workshop

One in 10 cars on the road could be classified as having ‘dangerous defects’, according to analysis of the latest Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) data by BookMyGarage. 

Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that defective tyres were a contributing factor in 17 fatal accidents in 2018 and caused a total of 459 accidents in the year.

Faulty brakes were also to blame for more than 500 accidents and 15 fatalities.

Karen Rothberg, managing director at BookMyGarage, said: “It was a sensible policy during lockdown, when vehicle use was limited, but the whole point of the MOT is to make sure dangerous vehicles are not on our roads for the sake of the driver, passengers and other road users.

“The Government is taking a serious safety risk now though and we urge motorists to take a common-sense view.”

Following the DVSA announcement that it is ending the MOT exemption on August 1, BookMyGarage said, “millions on could still be driving without a valid certificate until end of January 2021”.

Vehicles were granted the six-month exemption from MOT testing in March, to help slow the spread of the virus.

However, as the lockdown is gradually lifted, all cars, motorcycles or vans due a MOT test from August 1, will now be required to get a test certificate.

The RAC has warned that hundreds of thousands of vehicles due to be tested this summer could end up causing a backlog if drivers take advantage of the six-month extension. 

BookMyGarage expects the average failure rate during 2020 to increase as a result of the exemption.

Testers classify failures as minor, major and dangerous defects, with one in three vehicles failing their MOT every day in normal conditions.

The most dangerous defect recorded by more than 65,000 MOT testers across the UK between July and September 2019 were tyres, which made up 58.1% of all dangerous defects recorded, followed by brakes (29.3%), suspension (5.5%), chassis (2.4%) and lights (2.0%).

Two-in five (40%) fleets have postponed non-essential service, maintenance and repair (SMR) work, during the coronavirus crisis, according to a Fleet News survey.

Five million fewer MOT tests carried out in April and May 2020 than in the same months last year, according to DVSA figures.

BookMyGarage is advising motorists not to risk ‘maxing out’ on the August 1 exemption if they can, and get their vehicles tested as soon as possible.

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