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Consultation on MOT tests planned

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The Government is set to consider plans to reduce the required frequency of MOT tests in a bid to reflect the needs of modern vehicle technology - a move which would cut the costs of running a car.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has ordered a review of the testing regime to look at the possibility of pushing the first MOT test back from three to four years, with the second test to follow after another two years.

The consultation, which will discuss the proposed changes with motoring groups, road safety organisations and the MOT trade, comes amid the budget challenges faced by motorists due to the surging petrol prices.

The MOT regime has not seen any significant changes since 1967, despite huge developments in the safety and technology of cars.

According to officials, a three-year-old car today should not have any difficulty passing an MOT test.

Mr Hammond said: "Car technology has come a long way since the 1960s when our MOT regime was introduced.

"That's why we think it's right to look again to check whether we still have the right balance of MOT testing for modern vehicles.

"If we can move from first test at four years and yearly thereafter to four years, then two and then yearly, motorists could save £100.

"This will be a genuine consultation and we want to work with the industry and motorists to get the decision absolutely right."

Research commissioned by the Department for Transport suggests that moving the first test back by one year would result in two additional deaths.

© Press Association 2011