A petition to stop the Government’s long-rumoured plans to extend the MOT grace period for newer vehicles has been launched and is rapidly gaining momentum.

Currently, new vehicles don’t have to be tested until they’re three years old. But, under the new proposals, this time period would increase to four years – a move that many in the industry are concerned about.

The Government is considering the change to try and save motorists money amid the current cost of living crisis. But, industry experts say it could end up costing them more in the long run – and could make Britain’s roads a more dangerous place.

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has launched a petition in response, which, at the time of writing, has attracted nearly 3,000 signatures.

A number of the UK’s largest automotive trade bodies have signed the petition so far, including the Garage Equipment Association (GEA), the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) and the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA).

The petition states: “The Government has proposed extending the period before a vehicle has to have its first MOT from three years to four. We believe this will be dangerous, expensive, damaging and unnecessary.

“The Government has considered extending the period before a new vehicle needs its first MOT several times in recent years and abandoned plans every time after common-sense arguments from industry bodies and consumers alike. We believe any reduction to the MOT frequency will be:

  • Dangerous: Increased casualties and deaths caused by vehicle defects
  • Expensive: Increased vehicle repair, maintenance and insurance costs
  • Damaging: Increased pollution and congestion levels
  • Unnecessary: There is little evidence to suggest motorists want to change MOT frequency

“1,759 casualties were caused by vehicle defects in 2021. Keep our roads safe by keeping the MOT at 3-1-1.”

What next?

The petition will be live and open to signatures until 23 July 2023, but the consultation period for the new MOT proposals ends sooner, on 1 March.

In order to affect change, the petition therefore needs to reach at least 10,000 signatures before this date. If it does, the Government will issue a response. If it reaches 100,000 signatures, it will then be considered for a parliamentary debate.

If you’re against the Government proposals, there’s still time to make your feelings known. You can respond to the consultation on the Government website or add your name to the list of signatures on the official Parliament petition site.