MOT tests: Sheffield garages warn of car safety risk if cut to every two years
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Mechanics are warning of safety concerns after ministers suggested ditching annual MOT tests to help families cope with the cost of living crisis.
Ministers are looking at having the tests every two years instead of every year to help save money for households facing a predicted £693 annual hike to their energy bills.
Drivers are currently required to get an MOT on their car each year.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is reported to have raised the idea at Cabinet after Boris Johnson asked ministers for ideas to help households - without any extra Government spending.
But the idea has raised concerns about safety and whether it would cost motorists more in the long run by storing up repairs.
Garages in Sheffield are among those who are concerned.
Chris Lantini, who runs MB Services, on Holywell Road, near Brightside, said: “I think this is a bad idea, and it’s potentially dangerous. I see some of the vehicles that come in for MOTs and some of them are dangerous. Sometimes the people driving them don’t know, and you can see the shock on their faces when you explain how bad it is.
“And the MOT is a very basic test.”
He said he didn’t think it would seriously affect his garage as MOTs were a comparatively small part of their business, but said he thought garages which did a large proportion of their work on MOTs may have to put the prices up if the move went ahead, so the saving may be less than the Government expected.
“I drive on the roads with my family in the car,” he added. “The thought of someone losing control because of something breaking in their car as a result of this worries me.”
Rob Boulter, who runs Brooklands Service Garage on Brooklands Avenue, Fulwood, said he believed the change had been proposed in the past, but rejected because of safety concerns.
He said: “We’ve allegedly got the best MOT testing in the world, with the first test on the cars third birthday, and then every year. There are a lot that fail on their third birthday for things like tyres. I think this would be a bad idea for road safety.”
Ministers discussed a number of ideas that will be worked through at a ‘Domestic and Economic Strategy committee’, to be convened by Boris Johnson in the coming weeks.
Number 10 was unable to say what those ideas were or when they might be introduced amid reports that ministers could slash tariffs on food imports, branded goods like designer handbags and refined oil products.
The PM's spokesman also hinted at future help on childcare.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: “We are considering every possible option to ensure people can keep more of their money.”
But the spokesman made it clear there was no new money to alleviate the crisis until a further financial announcement from the Chancellor.
He said: “Certainly, the budgets for departments are set and there are no plans to go outside what's been agreed.”