The Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed that immediate changes to the way MOT tests are carried out are unlikely to be made following a consultation it launched in January.
It made the statement during a meeting with The Independent Garage Association (IGA) and Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) to discuss the current consultation on MOT frequency and enhancements.
In January, the DfT launched a public consultation to reform the MOT test, which includes a proposal to extend the date of the first MOT test for new vehicles to the fourth year.
Possible changes to the MOT test could also include boosting the monitoring of emissions to tackle pollution and measures to ensure the safety of batteries fitted to electric and hybrid vehicles.
During the meeting, the DfT was asked why such a large and complex consultation covering 27 areas within the MOT test was published with only a six-week response period. It explained that Ministers are focusing on saving consumers money and wanted to use the consultation as an opportunity to evaluate if any areas of the MOT could contribute to further savings.
When asked how it planned to proceed with so many areas under review at once, the DfT revealed there would be further consultations based on the initial information and responses provided, and that no immediate decisions were likely. It also shared that consultation responses submitted after the closing date on February 28, 2023, would still be considered.
When asked why the consultation could not be carried out over a three-month period, bearing in mind that no immediate action would be taken and further consultations would follow, no response was given. However, the DfT did confirm that no legislation changes will be implemented from April 1, 2023, which was included within its impact statement.
All parties agreed to continue working closely at every stage of the consultation process to ensure that public safety and the needs of the industry are being thoroughly considered.
Stuart James, IGA chief executive, said: “We appreciate the DfT being open about many of the questions raised and understand that cost implications for consumers and advances in vehicle technology are the main drivers behind this consultation. However, the UK’s roads are amongst the safest in the world, and we would like to believe that the Government would not make decisions that would cause any increase in road casualties.
“We believe it may have been more appropriate to break the consultation down into smaller subject areas to ensure that road safety will not be impacted by any of the many changes being considered. We will be working non-stop to ensure that road safety and the public are protected as the consultation progresses.”
A number of industry bodies have spoken out against the proposed changes, including the IGA, the Garage Equipment Association (GEA), the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), the SMTA and the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA).