This month, our contributors have their say on the hot topic of the moment, the proposed four-year MOT exemption for new cars.
Managing Director, Autosupplies (Chesterfield):
“There is a growing concern for the automotive aftermarket with proposals to extend the frequency for a vehicle’s first MOT from three years to four years now moving to the consultation stage.
“Our target market is typically vehicles between three to ten years old and therefore this extension will effectively remove a significant number of vehicles from the market.
“This could decrease sales throughout the entire supply chain with fewer drivers having a need to enter independent garages.
“Vehicle manufacturers (VMs) offer at least three-year warranties so it is inevitable that they will extend their offer to a four-year warranty to continue this trend.
David Clarke: The changes “could decrease sales throughout the entire supply chain with fewer drivers having a need to enter independent garages.”
“New car sales have been strong spelling further danger for those within the aftermarket, especially if these plans go ahead.
“Ultimately, the reasons behind the extension are to save motorists money, but if vehicles continue to go unmonitored for longer periods of time, problems will surely magnify and we expect to see a higher number of defective vehicles on UK roads as a direct result of this proposal.
“As an industry we need to unite and stand against these dangerous changes while continuing to target newer vehicles for service and repair.”
Proprietor, Scotland’s Ash Garage:
“Plans to extend a vehicle’s first MOT to a further 12 months is incredibly dangerous and speaking from a life-time of experience, I fear for the safety of all road users if these plans go ahead.
“The government seems to be painting the proposal in a positive light, claiming motorists could save up to £100m as a result of the extension. However, with all due respect, the government does not see what we see day in, day out.
“We regularly discover festering problems that have long gone unnoticed but have the potential to cause fatal results if they are not identified and managed accordingly. And despite the government’s money-saving claims, this leads to bigger problems down the line, costing the motorist more money in the long run.
“We strongly encourage regular servicing, especially for vehicles with high mileage. There seems to be a growing problem with drivers putting off these essential checks for financial reasons.
“The latest MOT proposals set an incredibly dangerous precedent and feeds into this rental philosophy that society seems to have adopted. Cars are now like mobile phones; we rent them and then replace them for a newer model when our contracts expire. We disassociate ourselves from the responsibility of our vehicles, simply trading them in if they break and the MOT extension almost supports this mentality that it is okay to ignore problems.
“DVSA has reported recently that 22% of new cars fail their first MOT. The proposals will almost certainly see this figure rise, ultimately meaning that the UK roads are littered with dangerous, illegal vehicles: a scary thought and one that we need to fight against.”