When the government announced last week that the MOT rules were being relaxed, meaning that owners of new cars now had four years of driving rather than the current three before they had to book an MOT, no doubt many saw this as good news.
Financially, many will see it as a way to save money if they don't have to put their car through an MOT until a year later. However, one road safety charity has aired concerns on the behalf of drivers, and urged the government to consider safety on the roads before making the rules official.
Chancellor George Osborne made the announcement at last Wednesday's (July 8th) Budget speech, and painted the move as a good one for drivers, stating they will save a collective £100 million a year as a result.
However, TyreSafe said that while it appreciates that cars and other vehicles are now more reliable than ever – one of the reasons behind the proposal – there are still many safety critical components that need to be checked and maintained regularly.
It said many Brits simply don't carry out maintenance checks on these parts of their cars themselves, adding that if they are not required to go to an MOT centre until a year later, there is a much higher chance of parts failing.
TyreSafe chairman, Stuart Jackson said: "TyreSafe has been campaigning to change this behavioural attitude but our research shows just how much more work there is to do before Britain's motorists understand the importance of routinely checking their tyres and replacing them before they become unsafe."
Tyres are a critical part of any MOT, and one of the most common faults responsible for MOT failures, even when a simple check could alert Brits to the fact they need new tyres fitted. TyreSafe said this shows just how often people do not carry out the checks themselves.
Recently, TyreSafe said that a quarter of all tyres are illegal because their tread is not the required 1.6mm depth. It adds in this instance that giving people a year longer to wait before they need to legally take their car for its first MOT can only increase this figure.
"TyreSafe urges the government to consult closely with road safety organisations before making a final decision on extending the MOT deadline for new cars and motorbikes," Mr Jackson concluded.
Posted by Danielle Barge