The first MOT test for vans will remain at three years for now after a consultation revealed widespread condemnation.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has also committed to maintaining annual testing after the first MOT, rather than switching to every other year, but has said it will continue to work closely with industry stakeholders and drivers to establish a programme of longer-term reform for MOT tests.
The major shake-up of the MOT regime for cars, vans and motorcycles was proposed in January 2023, accompanied by the consultation from the DfT and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which highlighted technological advancements such as hybrid, electric and self-drive vehicles.
At the time, the Government promoted the money-saving benefits of such a move and said the updates could ‘ensure roadworthiness checks continue to balance costs on motorists while ensuring road safety, keeping up with advances in vehicle technology and tackling vehicle emissions’.
However, the move was criticised by many in the automotive sector, who pointed out that the first MOT and the annual testing thereafter play a crucial role in ensuring that vehicles on our roads are safe and well-maintained.
And some also highlighted that changes could actually end up costing motorists more. Analysis from the AA suggests that an annual MOT can potentially save drivers between £200 and £400, as picking up developing faults each year means drivers aren’t hit with higher repair bills further down the road.
Roads minister Guy Opperman said:
We have listened to drivers and industry and keeping MOTs in their current form shows once again that we are on the side of motorists.
There are some changes still planned though. The Government will further investigate how to better monitor diesel vehicle emissions through the DVSA. This will include whether testing should do more to ensure that diesel vehicles comply with emissions regulations.
It will also still explore whether further improvements could be made to the MOT for electric vehicles and will look into the transfer of some larger zero-emissions vans to more standard, car-style MOT testing – helping to remove a barrier to electric van take-up.