The annual MOT is vital to ensure cars are roadworthy
When is your car’s MOT test due? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’re not alone. A new poll has revealed that a quarter of drivers (27 per cent) don’t have a clue when their current MOT runs out.
Although the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) automatically sends drivers reminders about when their road tax is due, there is no such service for MOTs. Instead the government has an MOT check website. However, nearly half (47 per cent) are unaware of it according to the survey by Carbuyer.co.uk.
It’s easy to check when your MOT test is due
The annual MOT enables technicians to perform vital road safety checks
Drivers have come out against a government proposal for MOT changes. Ministers are considering switching a car’s first MOT from three-years old to four. But experts say this could mean up to 500,000 more dangerous cars on the road. And in a survey for industry body the Society of Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), three quarters of car owners (76 per cent) snubbed the idea of delaying a car’s first MOT.
Why is government proposing MOT changes?
If you’re unsure how many miles you drive each year, you’re not alone. More than a quarter of drivers could be guessing how far they drive and it may cost them dear, according to a survey.
The findings mean millions of drivers could be paying too much for their car insurance or, more worryingly, may be at risk of invalidating their policy.
The survey of 2,000 drivers highlighted how 27 per cent of Britain’s motorists ‘guesstimate’ how far they drive each year. It was conducted by uSwitch.
Why is it important to submit an accurate annual mileage to insurers?
Within your car’s exhaust system there are two areas that are hot spots for trouble and often need cleaning – the catalytic converter and the diesel particulate filter. Both of these cause problems for the efficient running of your car and can lead to it failing its MOT. In fact, Britain has a monthly peak of 43,000 cars failing the annual roadworthy test because of unacceptably dirty emissions from the exhaust.
Given the high cost of replacement parts, it’s no surprise that many drivers are embracing DIY cleaning products. These claim to return to good health congested catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters. We look at the options for drivers and ask whether they are worth using.
Just because a car’s a bit older doesn’t mean it has to be scrapped. Read our tips on how to buy an older model.
Buying bangers isn’t for everybody but it might just make sense. You might need a cheap car quickly. Or perhaps you’re fed up with pouring money into new cars that seem to lose their value quicker than you can make the monthly payments. Continue reading
Smoke-like steam when you start up is normal. If it continues, your car could have a problem
The moment you turn your car’s engine on, exhaust emissions start coming out of its tail pipes. They could cause your car to fail its annual MOT test if examiners judge that too many harmful gases are being emitted. They could even land you with a fine.
There’s nothing drivers of internal combustion engine cars can do about small levels of exhaust emissions. They are, after all, the result of the chemical reaction taking place when fuel is burnt by the engine. But with tougher checks for cars’ exhaust emissions, find out how to stay the right side of legal. Continue reading
It would be nice to imagine that when buying a used car, every vendor is as trustworthy as a girl guide and each handshake worth as much as a legally binding written contract. Sadly, there’s no shortage of unscrupulous, shady characters who make Tony Soprano seem positively saintly. And that’s why it’s important to check a used car’s V5C registration document and MOT.
The V5C is essentially the authorities’ record of who owns, or is responsible for a car. When someone selling a car produces it, a buyer can use the V5C to check that the vehicle is what it claims to be, and that the person selling it is the car’s owner and entitled to sell it.
Sadly, not all vans are as well looked after as this one (Picture © Iveco)
Van owners and drivers are being encouraged to take more care of their vehicles. It comes after research revealed many are unsafe or overloaded. A study showed almost two thirds have a serious mechanical defect. More than nine out of 10 stopped are overloaded. It has prompted a van maintenance and awareness scheme, launched by industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Continue reading