The MOT test changes this weekend but you can be forgiven if you didn’t know. New research conducted by Green Flag reveals that six out of 10 drivers (58 per cent) haven’t realised the MOT changes are happening.
More worryingly perhaps, nine out of 10 drivers (89 per cent) are unaware that driving a car with an invalid MOT might result in a £2500 fine. And a quarter (25 per cent) don’t realise that driving a faulty vehicle results in a penalty. Read on to find out more about the changes and how drivers might be able to save themselves money.
What are the MOT changes?
From Sunday May 20, 2018 the MOT test will be tougher in an effort to crack down on dirty diesels. The new emissions test will automatically fail any car that pumps out smoke of any colour. The aim is to reduce the number of cars on the road whose particulate filter has packed up.
Any faults found during the MOT test will now go into one of three categories. The tester will note minor faults but the car will still pass its test. Major and dangerous faults will prompt an instant MOT failure.
The third major change is that cars more than 40-years old no longer need to hold a valid MOT certificate. The theory is that older classic cars tend to be lovingly maintained by their owners. Read more about the MOT test changes here.
Why is the MOT important?
The MOT test is vital as it checks cars for roadworthiness. But according to a study by Green Flag, there could be up to 21 million faulty cars on the road. Nick Reid, Green Flag’s head of automotive technology said: “Our research indicates that under the MOT changes which come into effect on Sunday, the majority of drivers are going to get caught out. They could even potentially face fines for their vehicle treatment. We are urging drivers to read up on the new rules.”
Why regular maintenance is important
Green Flag’s research also found that British drivers have a tendency to ignore problems with their cars. The study discovered that in nearly half of cases (47 per cent) the repair would have been cheaper if addressed earlier.
Drivers spend on average £574 a year to get their car fixed. That makes a national total of £21.5 billion. Nick Reid added: “Driving a faulty car is a huge issue. Not only is it dangerous for you, your passengers and other drivers on the road; not dealing with problems only makes them worse, which means a bigger bill for you.”
How drivers might be able to save money
One way for drivers to cut the cost of repairs prompted by failing the MOT is to join Green Flag. Every Green Flag member benefits from Green Flag Smart Service. Provided by established company RoadServe, this acts as middleman between car owner and garage. And because it’s operating on behalf of thousands of car owners, it can negotiate preferential rates for MOTs, servicing and repairs. Car owners no longer deal direct with garages, have to suffer mechanic’s jargon or fret about unnecessary work. And RoadServe customers save on average 30 per cent on repairs.
If you’re already a Green Flag member, visit the Green Flag Smart Service website to activate your account.