MOT, new cars, VED, road safety, DriveWrite Automotive, motoring, cars

Against The Four Year MOT

We used to live in Great Britain. The British Isles. Now we live in a Kingdom of four disunited countries, separated by a common cause. If you want an example see the NHS, which is a supposedly a one-nation organisation, divided. What is good for some is not good for others.

If Scotland wants to be independent so be it. Make it so. Even the most ardent nationalist has to agree that their leader is a bit annoying, pecking away like those pesky gulls at the seaside trying to pinch your chips; so it’s best to get it done.

In Wales, everything is written down in two languages which seems to me to be a pointless exercise. If the Welsh nation want to be Welsh and have their road signs and the like written in Welsh then so be it. Why should they not? The French don’t signpost the nation in other languages just to please visiting euro-tourists, do they?

Obviously the Welsh language is incomprehensible to non-speakers. Across Europe the various spellings of ‘Police’ are very similar. In Wales it’s ‘Heddlu’, but the problem is for visitors not locals to sort out.

In Northern Ireland new cars do not have to have a MOT until four years have elapsed. The same goes for some European countries. It is proposed that England, Wales and Scotland follow suit. I’m not sure I agree, especially as devolved governments seem to have a choice as is the case in N.I.

A majority of motorists think this is a good idea. Only around a quarter disagree. This week’s Transport Minister Andrew 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. New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago and so it is only right we bring the MOT test up to date to help save motorists money where we can.”

How thoughtful, but as new car buyers to whom the new MOT rule might apply are about to be shafted on VED it’s not really true that money will be saved is it? He giveth and he taketh away.

It is certainly true that cars are better and safer than ever. This is why, as Jones says, we have some of the safest roads in the world. That’s a good thing. Why would you want to jeopardise it by delaying safety checks?

Not all new cars are run and maintained as well as others. There is no rule to say that a vehicle has to be fully serviced annually, that’s up to the owner. Thus a problem that could arise in three years will only get worse in four, potentially rendering the car unsafe. Pothole wear and tear is a case in point.

Then there’s the issue of tyre safety. We already know there’s a big market for part-worn rubber. Of those tyres sold, the very latest news is that more than half, 58%, had defects impairing their safety, including poor repairs, structural damage and age-related deterioration. Are we really happy with that?

Nobody likes spending money at the behest of officialdom but any sensible driver who lugs his family around in the motor will surely want it to be as safe as possible. A well maintained car should sail through a MOT and the check isn’t that expensive, unlike the VED increases.

I vote that the MOT stays at three years. I also vote that the VED rises coming at a time when the motor industry is in a period of brexit uncertainty be cancelled. If there is one subject on which this Kingdom should be United it is road safety. The question is does my vote count? My guess is probably not. Geoff Maxted