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IGA and SMTA discuss 4-1-1 MOT plans with government

As the deadline for the consultation for changing to a 4-1-1 MOT frequency looms ever closer, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) and the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) have held talks with the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

While the new consultation has a number of areas that are welcomed by the aftermarket, including proposals to update areas around vehicle technologies and emissions, it is the 4-1-1 MOT plan that has caused concerns amongst the industry.

During the meeting, the DfT was asked why such a large and complex consultation covering 27 areas within the MOT test was published with only a six-week response period. Previous discussions around the MOT, including the last attempt to move to a 4-1-1 MOT system, were in consultation for a number of months. 

The response given was that Ministers are focusing on saving consumers money and wanted to use the consultation as an opportunity to evaluate if any areas of the MOT could contribute to further savings.

Further MOT consultation possible

When asked how they planned to proceed with so many areas under review at once, the DfT revealed there would be further consultations based on the initial information and responses provided, and that no immediate decisions were likely. 

The government department also shared that consultation responses submitted after the closing date on 28 February 2023 would still be considered.

When asked why the consultation could not be carried out over a three-month period, bearing in mind that no immediate action would be taken and further consultations would follow, no response was given. However, they were able to confirm that no legislation changes will be implemented from 1 April 2023, which was included within their impact statement.

4-1-1 MOT not a foregone conclusion

All parties agreed to continue working closely at every stage of the consultation process to ensure that public safety and the needs of the industry are being thoroughly considered.

“We appreciate the DfT being open about many of the questions raised and understand that cost implications for consumers and advances in vehicle technology are the main drivers behind this consultation,” commented Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive. “However, the UK’s roads are amongst the safest in the world, and we would like to believe that the Government would not make decisions that would cause any increase in road casualties.

“We believe it may have been more appropriate to break the consultation down into smaller subject areas to ensure that road safety will not be impacted by any of the many changes being considered. We will be working non-stop to ensure that road safety and the public are protected as the consultation progresses.”

The issue surrounding MOT frequency raised its head last year, when former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested moving to a 3-2-2 pattern to save drivers money as the cost-of-living crisis started to take hold. The current proposals are calling on responses, mainly to switch to a 4-1-1 MOT system, with opinions on 3-2-2 as well.

The IGA has set up a petition, which it hopes will help the government see that a 4-1-1 MOT system is not backed by both industry and drivers. You can sign the petition here

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