The time new vehicles will be allowed on UK roads without an MOT, may rise to four years in 2018.
The four year MOT recently announced by the government intends to extend the length of time for a new vehicle to have its first MOT. From three years, to four years. This change in 2018 would bring England, Wales and Scotland in line with Northern Ireland and other European countries. These include France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway.
The Department for Transport explained that safer technology and improved manufacturing means new vehicles retain their level of build quality, and stay roadworthy for longer. The four year MOT strategy is a response to evolving levels of production, and will bring welcomed cost-savings to motorists using new vehicles estimated at over £100 million a year.
The DVSA does advise there will still be a legal requirement for drivers and motorcycle riders to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, and MOT tests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles on our roads. New vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago. It is only right we bring the MOT test up to date, and help save motorists money where we can.”
There are fears that high-wear components such as lights and tyres may go neglected because of the four year MOT change. This may lead to more test failures or worse still, accidents as a result of mechanical failure.
Quick MOT Facts
- Over 2.2 million cars each year require a first MOT test at a maximum cost of £54.85.
- Motorists face a fine of up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
- The annual number of three-year and four-year-old cars involved in accidents where a mechanical defect was found to be a contributory factor has fallen from 155 in 2006, to just 57 in 2015.
What effect will this four year MOT change have on service centers?
We’ve all been there. Sitting in the waiting room like a concerned family member as you wait for the MOT to finish. The testing mechanic walks in. They give you a bit of a head shake, exhale with a sort of ‘unfortunately’ tone, and then break the bad news your car has failed. Then you find yourself wishing “please just be a light bulb, please just be a light bulb!”
Now ironically at the time of writing this article, my Toyota Yaris has just this morning failed its MOT! A faulty brake light and a rubber wishbone bush. So not bad really!
So whatever the outcome of your MOT, the test and repair work brings vital income for one of the 22,700 garages and test centres around the UK. If MOTs on new vehicles are delayed and motorists are expecting to save some £100 million per year, that money is no longer going into the motor trade.
It will be up to these garages and testing centres to diversify, and as the government has said, “find new areas of work to cover the shortfall in MOT testing and repair work”.
What kind of initiatives can you implement?
As one of the garages/service centres potentially affected by these four year MOT changes, what can you do? One such initiative could be something like our very own MOT Cover. A self-funded product where you can offer your customers a guarantee on common parts/components in case they fail the next MOT.
Think of it like a warranty, equipped with claim limits and guidance on what to do should the vehicle fail the next MOT. You register the customer and vehicle details online within minutes, and print out the professionally formatted personalised paperwork instantly to hand to your customer.
You can sell this cover as a standalone product, or the popular approach adopted by our used car dealers is to give it away free. Then incorporate the cost into the price of a vehicle sale.
One other strategy our clients use is to encourage customers to return the vehicle to their workshops to keep the MOT Cover valid. “Bring your car back to us for MOTs and we’ll guarantee certain parts against failure on your next test.”
How does MOT Cover work?
It’s very simple. You keep the MOT funding/premium in your own accounts, and over time, build up a pot of money to cover any claims (and goodwill if you should choose) from future MOT failures.
Not only does this provide you with a cash flow benefit, it’s also a VAT product meaning there is no FCA involvement. We provide a full claims service for you and your customers, and support you with onsite training, monthly reporting and administration.
What happens to the expired MOT Cover fund?
When MOT Cover guarantee runs the course and expires, you can then at your discretion, draw down any expired funding as profit. Some clients choose to let the account build up to accommodate any larger MOT claims. Some dealers choose to actively use the pot for goodwill repairs and go that extra mile for their customers!
If you’d like to talk about introducing MOT Cover for your customers, please call Warranty Administration Services Ltd on 01522 515600.
When was the MOT introduced?
Fun fact for you, the ‘Ministry of Transport test’ or MOT was introduced in 1960! Originally designed for vehicles over 10 years old, back then it was a basic vehicle check to examine brakes, lights, and the steering system.
If you’d like to talk about introducing MOT Cover for your customers, please call Warranty Administration Services Ltd on 01522 515600. Thank you for reading this post on the Warranty Administration Services Ltd blog about the new four year MOT changes.