New cars and motorcycles could no longer require an MOT for the first four years under proposals unveiled by transport minister Andrew Jones.
This would extend the current period before the first required MOT test from three years to four, bringing England, Scotland and Wales in line with Northern Ireland and many other European countries including France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Norway.
Jones said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world and MOT tests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles on our roads.
It is a legal requirement that all vehicles are roadworthy, regardless of whether they have passed an MOT test and the content of the tests will not be changed.
More than 2.2 million cars each year have to undergo their first MOT test and in the past 10 years, the number of three or four-year-old cars involved in accidents where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor has fallen by almost two thirds, from 155 in 2006 to 57 in 2015.
The most common reasons for cars to fail their first tests are faulty lights, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
Subject to the public consultation, the changes could come into effect in 2018.
The options being considered are:
• to keep the current period for vehicles requiring a first MOT at three years, with no change
• to increase the age all vehicles get their first MOT from three to four years
• to increase the age cars and motorcycles get their first MOT from three to four years, but keeping it at three years for vans in classes four and seven