Save money by not having an MOT? Would you be in favour?
It’s January. Everyone is back at work/looking for work/watching Jeremy Kyle and soon Black Monday will be upon us- the third Monday in January when you realise it is still ages until you get paid. This is probably not the time to remind you of unavoidable and necessary costs like an annual MOT, and while the MOT itself might not break the bank, the various jobs that need doing to get your car through just might.
So would you welcome a change to the current system? In the UK we work on a 3-1-1 system, which means a new car does not need an MOT for three years, and then one is required annually. In Continental Europe though, the system is 4-2-2.
As part of its Red Tape Challenge, the Government has been consulting on changing the UK system to the 4-2-2 frequency pattern. On the face of it, this would seem to be good news for the savvy consumer like you, dear Bitterwallet reader, as the reduced frequency would naturally translate to a reduced pocket dent, wouldn’t it? The Government’s own figures estimate an annual saving to motorists of £24.44 a year made up of:
£20 a year in saved MOT fees
£3.30 a year in saved personal time
£1.14 a year in saved fuel costs as a result of fewer visits to a MOT station
Sounds reasonable, and while £24.44 a year isn’t a lot of money, it is still more money in your pocket than in someone else’s, right? Well, apparently not. Road safety campaign organisation ProMOTe beg to differ. They claim that, rather than saving you some pretty pennies, a less frequent MOT would actually cost you money, to the tune of an additional £81.81, made up of:
£30.59 in additional repair costs
£46.05 in additional insurance premiums
£5.17 in additional fuel costs
Now call me a cynic, but it might just be that an organisation called ProMOTe actually quite likes the current MOT system and would therefore find figures from its “motor industry sources” that supported its cause. The accountant in me also wonders why the £23.33 MOT fees and time savings have been left out of the ProMOTe figures. Surely these are valid savings, and the personal time saving looks low to me, given even miminum wage is now over £6 per hour. Could it be because including these costs would reduce the impact value of their ‘extra cost’?
However, ProMOTe are not just a bunch of busybodies*, the main thrust behind their argument is one of road safety- if cars are tested once a year, there is a least a vague hope that for some of that year, the car is safe to drive on the road. Pro-MOTe co-ordinator, Bill Duffy, said “This research shows that scrapping annual MOT testing would not only be dangerous but prove very expensive too, to both drivers and taxpayers alike… and the cost to the UK economy in lost jobs and higher costs arising from the additional accidents that we would see due to less frequent testing would be significant.”
“Reducing the frequency of MOTs is a cost too far. It is time for the Government to scrap this dangerous, expensive and unwanted plan.” he finished.
But is it an unwanted plan? Clearly ProMOTe are not fans, but what about the Great British Public? Earlier this year the Government consulted on motoring red tape, which included a strand for discussion on Vehicle Safety and Standards. The results of the consultation were announced last month, and the current MOT regulations are classified as ones due to “Improve”. But is this is line with the consultation responses?
ProMOTe analysed the comments left on the relevant section of the Red Tape Challenge website and came up with the following results:
291 responses to red tape challenge on Vehicle safety and Standards
220 mentioned MOT frequency change (75.6 % of all responses)
203 of those who mentioned MOT were against the change (92.3%)
10 people were for the change (4.5%)
7 people mentioned MOT but didn’t say whether they were for or against a change
Again, the cynic in me wanted to take these figures with a pinch of salt, but reading the comments left on the website, ProMOTe’s analysis does appear to be accurate. It seems the public are more concerned with road safety than in saving money.
Having said that, 291 people is not really a representative sample of the 60 million people in the UK. Also, a large number of respondents seemed to be in the motor trade, who naturally have a vested interest in maintaining the current schedule of testing.
So here’s a question for you- would you favour a change to the MOT system?
* they might actually be busybodies, I don’t know. I am just not assuming them to be so.