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Extending MOT could have financial implications for drivers

The rising cost of vehicle repairs means the short-term financial gains from delaying an MOT by 12 months could have long-term financial implications, meaning the proposed move to a two-yearly test would be pointless, according to Intelligent Motoring.

Data analysis from the parent company of MotorEasy, Motokiki and Warranty Assist, reveals that the cost of vehicle repairs has risen on average by 33% between January and June this year, when compared with the first six-months of 2021. These costs are expected to rise, as garages look to increase rates as the cost-of-living crisis impacts both staff and businesses.

The company is highlighting the issue following the release of results by the RAC, showing that drivers do not back extending MOT checks to every two years, under proposals laid out by former transport minister Grant Shapps. He believed that a way to save drivers money, as the energy and fuel price crisis continues, is to switch to a two-yearly MOT, meaning a saving of £54.50 every other year.

“With the cost-of-living crisis hitting households hard across the UK, the industry and the government has a duty to responsibly support consumers in managing their finances during these difficult times, commented Duncan McClure Fisher, CEO of Intelligent Motoring. “Delaying repairs to vehicles for short-term financial gain is not an answer.

“Our analysis of service, repair and maintenance claims confirms that the costs are rising and this is likely to continue. A small fault today already costs a third more to rectify than it did this time last year.  Leave this small fault to develop another 18-24 months and the cost implications could be significant, let alone the safety risk it could pose to the driver, their passengers and other road users.

We must not forget that the UK has one of the best road safety records in the world and this is due in no small part to our current MOT system.”

Servicing costs expected to rise

The cost of vehicle repairs has risen on average by 33% between January and June this year, compared to the same period in 2021.   

Analysis of over 12,000 extended warranty claims paid by Intelligent Motoring, covering 31 makes and 144 models of vehicle, confirms the average price of a repair during January-June 2021 was £279 compared to £372 January-June 2022. 

Ongoing supply chain issues, rising energy and fuel prices and a shortfall in skilled motor technicians are powering motorists’ service, maintenance and repair woes. And this trend is likely to worsen according to the Motor Ombudsman. Some 63% of independent garages and franchised dealer workshops surveyed by the Motor Ombudsman have said they will be looking to increase prices in order to stay afloat after a difficult opening six months of 2022.

“Motorists have faced unprecedented increases in the cost of vehicle ownership in the last twelve months,” added Fisher. “Whilst rising fuel prices have dominated the headlines, escalating insurance premiums, increases in benefit-in-kind tax for company car drivers and higher borrowing costs have also contributed.” 

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