Published on: 26/01/2023
The Government has announced a proposal to consult on extending the time allowed before the first MOT of a vehicle’s life from three years to four – known as the 4-1-1 system.
While some motorists may think this is a good idea, there is ever-growing evidence that the increase of faulty and potentially dangerous cars on UK roads could result in an increase in road related injuries and possibly even deaths.
According to Fleet News, more than 1,700 casualties were caused by vehicle defects in 2021, indicating that any move to extend the time allowed before the first MOT of a vehicle’s life from three years to four years could seriously endanger safety for all road users.
Not only would these changes be dangerous, but in the long term they could cause an increase in repair costs for drivers, as minor problems normally picked up on a regular MOT would turn into more costly, potentially dangerous and more problematic issues for the vehicle. Car insurance cost could also increase if vehicles remain unchecked for an additional year.
More pollution will be another negative side effect of reducing the MOT frequency. The annual mortality of human-made air pollution in the UK is roughly between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths every year, and road transport is estimated to contribute 12.4% of primary particulate matter and 33.6% of nitrogen oxides.
In 2019, over 1 million vehicles failed their initial MOT due to emissions at year 3, and the government’s own proposals admit that over 45,000 extra vehicles could pollute at higher levels until picked up in their first MOT at 4 years. Any additional accidents caused by vehicle defects would also cause extra road traffic and congestion.
There have been previous attempts in government to introduce an extended first MOT period – in 2008, 2011 and 2017 – all of which considered the 4-1-1 as a structure for MOT frequency, and all of which the government decided that no changes should take place.
In short, the 4-1-1 system paves the way for vehicles to become more dangerous on the roads. So, what can you do to help?
Please sign this UK Parliament petition and share it with your family and friends. We’re aiming to reach 100,000 signatures so the topic is considered for debate in Parliament.
You can also have your say on the MOT frequency and road safety it by answering our short survey here. All answers are completely anonymous, but will help automotive industry trade bodies to lobby the government against the change.