Tuesday 22nd May 2012
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The government has decided not to go ahead with proposals to scrap annual MOTs in favour of biennial checks.

Currently, all cars over three years old are required to pass an MOT once a year to stay on the road.

But the government had been considering reducing the frequency of the tests, meaning cars would only need to undergo an MOT every two years, bringing the UK in line with the rest of Europe.

But now, it has been announced that in a government U-turn, plans to move to biennial checks have been ditched, following a campaign by road safety groups.

While some motorists will no doubt be disappointed by the news as it will mean the extra hassle and cost of bringing their car in for an MOT twice as often as they otherwise might have, they may stand to benefit in the long run.

For example, annual checks may be able to identify when replacement car engines are needed for vehicles earlier than a biennial inspection, reducing the chances of a major mechanical failure while driving.

Advantages such as this will help keep the UK's roads as safe as possible, argues Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

"Industry welcomes the decision by government to retain the existing MOT test regime, supporting the need to keep road safety a top priority," he said.

Meanwhile, transport secretary Justine Greening also outlined a number of proposals to help ensure garages offer a high-quality service to customers after official figures revealed that more than a quarter of MOT-tested cars had defects missed or wrongly assessed.

These include encouraging garages to conform to industry codes of practice - which will be expanded to include MOT testing, arranging 'mystery shopper' tests to help assess the performances of different garages and the release of previously unpublished data revealing whether or not the MOT testing industry is meeting the required standard.