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MOT? More Like DIY – Drivers Urged To Maintain Cars Themselves


Motorists have been told to maintain their vehicles if proposed changes to MOTs come into force. Experts have warned drivers to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy after proposals to extend the period between tests. 

The proposals have come via a consultation jointly published by the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), affecting cars, motorbikes and vans.

All new vehicles must be tested after they reach three years old to ensure they do not harm other road users.

But if the new proposals are adopted, this period will be extended to four years, in line with many other European countries.

Advances in technology and the popularity of EVs and hybrid cars mean new vehicles are less likely to need significant attention at three years old.

They also suggest that the period between MOT tests could extend from one year for newer vehicles.

While the experts from welcome the chance for drivers to create savings, safety must always be the number one priority. The government and the motor sts must ensure their cars, vans, and motorbikes are safe to operate.

Many European countries have a four-year policy, and the proposals would bring Britain in line with countries like Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Government analysis shows less frequent MOT tests could save UK drivers around £100 million annually. did a sample survey in Northern Ireland – where all vehicles must be tested at a dedicated MOT centre – putting the system under increasing pressure to clear the pandemic backlog. 43% of drivers were said to be waiting over three months for an available test date, and 59% were driving on the road past their test due date.

These proposed changes may alleviate some issues, but it’s essential to remember 1 in 10 vehicles fail their MOT the first time. Under the proposal, this vehicle would now be on the road for an additional year which some experts fear may increase the number of unsafe cars on our streets. Founder Greg Wilson has said: “These proposals to have less frequent MOT tests are likely to put the onus on the driver to more regularly maintain the vehicle and ensure its roadworthy. 

“Whilst money-saving benefits are plentiful in this economic climate, getting into an accident or driving an unsafe car could result in costs far higher than a £40 MOT.

“There are several routine checks drivers can do at home to help their vehicle stay safe and roadworthy.” has provided checks you can make on your car:

  1. Check Tyres

Before setting off, it is essential to check for any cuts or wear. It is also good to check if the tyre pressures are appropriate for the load and condition of the tyres. The minimum and legal limit for the tread depth of the tyres is 1.6mm – drivers can insert a 20p into the tread to double check the tyre thickness should be more than the first line on the coin.

  1. Check Lights

You must ensure your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights and brake lights all work. Having any of these not working o  in a temperamental condition could put you, your passengers and other motorists at risk.

  1. Check Brakes

The braking system needs to be in good working order. If the car pulls to one side when applying the brakes, this indicates an issue. Look at the handbrake and ensure t works well, especially on an incline. If you have alloy wheels, it could be possible to visually inspect the brakes without removing them.

  1. Check Fluid Levels

Keep your screen wash topped up to clean dirt off your windscreen and ensure good visibility and top-up brake fluid and oil.

  1. Check Mirrors

All mirrors must be secure and free of cracks. If they need replacing, you can generally find o es for your car model online, but stay clear of self-adhesive types as these are not durable.

  1. Check Windscreen and Wipers

Ensure there is no damage to your windscreen. A chip or crack that exceeds 40mm will result in a failed MOT test. On top of the windshield, the wipers and washer should be functional to ensure good visibility. helps around 3 million users find savings on household bills and essentials every year, including niche items such as motorbike insurance, van insurance and courier insurance.


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