A poll has revealed that the planned relaxation of MOT rules has caused over two-thirds of UK drivers to fear for their lives, due to the consequential decrease in road safety.
The proposed revisions, by the Department for Transport (DfT), state that the current rules must be modernised in order to accurately represent road safety improvements and the widening introduction of electric cars.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) commissioned the poll and revealed that out of 1,748 British people, 67% are against the MOT rule changes.
Among the prospective changes is delaying when the first MOT for a new car, van or motorbike is required, extending it to four years rather than the current three. Other proposals included are new battery checks for electric vehicles, and pollution tests for older models.
The DfT has said that easing MOT rules could save up to £100 million a year for motorists in the UK. This would help bring costs down to the averages in European countries such as Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy and Denmark.
However, the SMMT claims that the changes would only save around 23p a week over the course of three years for most car owners. Similarly, the poll reveals most people are happy to pay the typical £35 average cost of an MOT, in order to provide peace of mind regarding the state of the car.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, said: “Safety is the number one priority for the automotive industry and the MOT is a crucial component in keeping the UK’s vehicles and roads safe.
“Our survey shows that drivers support the existing MOT frequency and that there is little appetite to change it, despite the increased cost of living.”
Currently, more than 300,000 vehicles fail their first MOT every year. This includes testing vital car parts such as tyres, brakes, lights, seatbelts and more.