A review of the MOT tests could encourage more motorists to drive badly maintained and uninsured cars on British roads, according to research commissioned by Green Flag.
It emerged this week that the frequency of MOT tests – currently every year after the car’s third year of registration – could be reviewed following an examination of European legislation by Lord Davidson QC.
Research carried out by breakdown and rescue service Green Flag found that last year more than one-in-ten motorists (12 per cent) admitted to having driven without a valid MOT certificate.
Green Flag spokesman Nigel Charlesworth said: "We were concerned to see that so many drivers were prepared to risk driving without an MOT. Apart from the risk of getting a hefty fine, many could be driving vehicles that are uninsured and unroadworthy.
“Although a move to two years would not affect those people who comply with legislation and maintain their vehicles on a regular basis, it could encourage more people, such as those highlighted in the survey, to take to the roads in vehicles that are both dangerous and illegal – without the need to dodge annual checks.”
The MOT test is a legal requirement for cars aged over three years and driving without a valid MOT certificate carries a maximum fine of £1,000 and possible disqualification. It was introduced in 1960 to ensure basic safety standards were maintained in vehicles over ten years old.
Notes to editors:-
· 2,000 motorists surveyed by Tickbox.net during September 2005.
· Green Flag Motoring Assistance provides roadside rescue and recovery to almost 5m customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
MOT test factfile:-
· In 1960, the Ministry of Transport introduced the MOT for all vehicles aged over ten years to check their brakes, lights and steering.
· This test became known as the ten-year test, or the Ministry of Transport test, which was shortened to MOT.
· The testable age of a vehicle was reduced gradually until in 1967 all cars aged over three years had to be tested.
· The MOT test has continually developed over the years as vehicle technology has changed. It now includes highly sophisticated emissions testing for vehicles with catalytic converters.
· There are currently over 19,000 testing stations throughout the UK, and 50,000 qualified MOT testers.
· The purpose of the MOT test is to ensure that vehicles over three years old are checked annually for key roadworthiness and environmental requirements.
· It is NOT however a guarantee of the general mechanical condition of a vehicle, and regular maintenance checks and servicing are still essential to keeping vehicles roadworthy and safe.
· Garages that are approved to carry out MOT testing must display the blue three triangles logo.
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