22/06/2011: How will the proposed MOT test changes affect your car tyres?
Apparently, many motorists neglect their car tyres along with almost every aspect of vehicle maintenance and this is causing great concern amongst those opposed to the idea of extending the interval between MOT tests. Indeed, many argue that car tyres need inspection at far more frequent intervals because although vehicle design has progressed since the MOT test was introduced in the 1960’s car tyres are still subject to a great deal of wear and tear just from everyday motoring.
Of course you might argue that the design of car tyres has progressed over the decades too but you may be missing the point if you don’t think they need to have the regular checks imposed by the MOT test. Because the truth is, the design of car tyres is focused upon better grip and handling, better braking, better performance in the wet and increasingly on better fuel economy. Many modern car tyres suffer less wear as well but rubber is still rubber and still subject to the abrasion of road surfaces, as well as impact damage from kerbs whilst parking for example.
So spare a thought for your car tyres and have a look at the latest proposals for changing the MOT test frequency. The current proposal is to have a system where the first MOT test takes place when the car is four years old and every other year thereafter; the so-called’ 4.2.2.’ option. This means your car tyres will only be inspected after 4 years in the first place and then only every two years after that. Of course there are strict limits upon the amount of wear permitted before car tyres become illegal but older car tyres with very low mileage can also pose a risk to safety.
The sad truth is that many car tyres are neglected, indeed the Tyre Industry Federation (TIF) has figures which prove that a significant 12 per cent of car tyres are illegal when they are replaced and that even under the current MOT test system there are already 2.3 million failures related to car tyres every year. Extending the interval between MOT tests would inevitably lead to more accidents. The point here is that car tyres are the only things that keep your car on the road.
So think about it for a moment; you could have the best brakes in the world but if your car tyres are bald and the road is wet then your car is not going to stop in time to prevent an accident. On top of all this, many motorists only have their cars serviced just before an MOT test and extending the interval between testing would increase fuel consumption and pollution as well as leaving a vehicle alone for two years without checks or adjustment. Your car tyres are only a part of the problem.