Institute of Transport Administration

Educating Transport Management since 1944


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Changes to the date of the first MOT test and research into other MOT enhancements

27 Jan 2023

The consultation seeks views on whether the first date for a MOT test should be changed.

We are keen to understand:

  • when people think the first date should be
  • how making a change to this date will affect businesses
  • whether we should introduce any other changes to MOT testing

Evidence will be used to inform updates to policy, guidance, best practice and other policy tools across government.

The MOT test has been in place since the 1960s and the 3 year threshold for the first MOT test since the late 1960s. The MOT test was first introduced to assure the safety of a vehicle, in practice the effectiveness of safety-critical components such as tyres and brakes. In recent years, the concept of roadworthiness has expanded to encompass vehicle emissions and effects on the environment.

Since the MOT was introduced – and especially in recent years – there have been major advances in vehicle technology. These include the development of hybrid and electric vehicles; rapid progress in systems that automate actions such as parking or provide information to the driver. Looking to the future, rapid progress is being made in developing vehicles with self-driving features. It is therefore appropriate to consider whether changes need to be made to ensure that the system for assuring that vehicles are roadworthy remains fit for purpose.

This consultation document is seeking views on changes to roadworthiness testing. The first part considers the case for changing the date at which the first MOT is required and proposes that the date of the first MOT is changed from 3 to 4 years and some related changes. The second part of the consultation asks broader questions about the nature of the MOT – what is tested and how and the frequency of tests, and also asks whether there are other approaches that could achieve our road safety and environmental objectives.

In this initial stage, the consultation seeks to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current system, options for change and the issues that arise. Part 2 is a call for evidence on these matters. 

Further information: