03/03/2011: Will MOT test changes affect your tyres?
A new approach to looking at the condition of tyres is under consideration for possible future inclusion in the MOT test. This is just one part of a number of positive ideas being put to ministers that will benefit both vehicle safety and the motorist in general. This possible new test for tyres is part of a range of recommendations which have been made following a survey into MOT testing that involved a nationwide survey of 4200 drivers, to consider all aspects of testing including tyres.
The survey, which was commissioned by the MOT Forum and supported in respect of tyres by the NTDA, revealed some remarkable information concerning attitudes to road safety in general and the MOT test in particular, with the possible testing of tyres playing a significant part in the proceedings. Most interestingly, one of the most prominent features to emerge was that a large number of individuals, including those with an interest in tyres, are not in favour of tinkering with the MOT.
In fact, an astonishing 92% of respondents to the survey favour the testing of tyres and believe that cars should be tested annually on the grounds of safety and not just every two years as is required under the EU regulations that ministers are considering bringing Britain into line with. In respect of tyres, which of course can be damaged by impact or penetration, it is the overall age of the tyres, their mileage and their wear which is likely to be of the most interest in any MOT testing proposals.
A further point of interest, especially for those concerned about the cost of tyres as well as motoring costs in general, was that an exceptional 93% of respondents did not believe that the cost of the annual MOT was an unnecessary burden on motorists. Of course although the cost of tyres does not represent a significant part of the greater whole of motoring costs, it is nevertheless interesting to hear that although a two year test frequency is a potential cost reduction for motorists, it’s clear that a significant majority prefer to put safety before costs which is a good way to think about tyres.
The survey was commissioned after the Transport Minister announced he was considering relaxing the MOT test to match the EU requirement where new cars and their tyres are not tested for roadworthiness until they are four years old, and then every other year. The reason behind this is that the DfT believes that modern manufacturing methods mean both cars and tyres are now far safer. It is also understood that the department is considering a scheme in which cars are tested on a mileage basis rather than that of age; favouring light users of cars and penalising heavy commercial users which might be fairer.