dangers of removing MOT
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Getting rid of the MOT would be a backward and dangerous step
A report by The Adam Smith Institute recommending the abolishment of the annual MOT roadworthiness test has been strongly criticised by motoring groups.
The free-market think tank suggested it was “outdated and unnecessary”, with the report’s author, Alex Hoagland, saying: “When these safety inspections were done away with in some US states, accident rates did not change.
“There’s no evidence that vehicle safety inspections improve vehicle safety.”
However, consumer motoring groups and trade bodies moved quickly to pan the idea.
AA president Edmund King said: “The MOT is appreciated by the vast majority of drivers and means that at least once a year, for cars over three years of age, there is an independent check on safety and vehicle emissions.
“It would be a backward and dangerous step to scrap it.”
Stuart James, director of the Independent Garage Association, said: “The fact that the UK has one of the best road safety records in the developed world is testament to the quality of the MOT.”
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, noted: “Without an MOT, customers would likely incur additional expenses due to the damage caused by unresolved basic wear and tear issues.
Abolishing the MOT could have potentially devastating road safety implications.”
More than a million MOT failures due to dangerous defects in 2018
Over a million cars failed the MOT in 2018 due to a dangerous defect, according to the analysis of ‘Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’ (DVSA) data by online car marketplace, Motorway.
Under new more stringent rules, defects are categorised as either dangerous, major or minor.
This replaces the previous system under which a vehicle could pass, pass with advisory faults or fail. Any dangerous or major fault now results in a fail.
According to the DVSA, a dangerous defect will pose a direct and immediate risk to road safety or have a serious impact on the environment.
Common items include incorrectly fitted brake discs, leaking hydraulic fluid and worn or missing wheel nuts.
Alex Buttle, director of Motorway, said: “New car sales are currently falling, but the number of licensed cars on the road is remaining comparatively stable at around 38 million.
This suggests owners are hanging onto cars for longer and that means more dangerous cars. We could be heading towards becoming a country of clunkers.”
Elsewhere, used car warranty provider Warrantywise has published a list of least reliable cars.
Looking at 7-10 year old models for which it had more than 500 policies, and based on the cost of repairs, its 10 most unreliable were:
- Range Rover Sport 2010
- Vauxhall Zafira 2008
- Vauxhall Insignia 2011
- Peugeot 207 2008
- Vauxhall Astra 2009
- Mercedes C-class 2009
- MINI Cooper 2007
- Seat Ibiza 2008
- Fiat 500 2011
- Renault Clio 2008
Common faults on the Range Rover include suspension, alternator, brake and electrical issues.
For the Zafira, it is often gearbox, clutch, ignition and electrical problems, while the Insignia can be prone to steering, engine, gearbox and glow plug issues.
Lawrence Whittaker, chief executive of Warrantywise, said: “We are not suggesting these faults are guaranteed to occur, but this data is derived from genuine warranty claims.”
Kirkcaldy in Scotland has the worst MOT pass rate in the UK
The Scottish coastal town of Kirkcaldy has the worst MOT pass rate in the UK, according to the analysis of Government data by consumer champion HonestJohn.co.uk.
Just 55% of 135,000 cars tested in Kirkcaldy passed at the first attempt, with Plymouth, Dundee and Truro also ranking badly.
The south-east of England has the best record, with Enfield topping the table with a pass rate of 73.5%, ahead of Bromley, Ilford, Romford and Croydon.
The research shows that failures often relate to lighting, brakes, tyres and suspension, with harsh weather and poor road conditions both major factors.
Daniel Powell, the managing editor of HonestJohn.co.uk, said: “One of the most surprising aspects to come out of The MoT Files is the amount of regional variations.”