A survey of garages has found that nine out of ten have seen an increase in vehicles being presented for test without already having a valid certificate in force. The increase stems from the government’s decision to abolish paper discs and to digitise the system in 2014.
Checking a vehicle’s paper tax disc used to be a common method of checking whether a vehicle still had a valid MOT, as road tax and MOTs usually coincide. Now that the system has been digitised, consumers who pay for their road tax monthly receive no reminders that their tax is due, and therefore potentially forget to MOT their car.
The survey, conducted by the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) and Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) was distributed across the motor trade, and the results found that 43.8 percent of the trade had noticed a ‘significant’ increase in MOTs where the vehicle is out of test since the road tax changes came in, and 91.2 percent overall had seen an increase of some kind.
Respondents were also asked if they had any further comments, and over a quarter of them responded. There was a general consensus that although customers forgetting to MOT their vehicles have always been an issue, the problem has worsened since the 2014 road tax changes.
Many of the comments from garage owners say that an MOT reminder service is something their business has had to provide to customers themselves, but they believe it should be the Government’s responsibility.
Stuart James, RMI Director commented, “The results of this survey overwhelmingly show that we were right to have concerns. In the short space of time since the road tax changes were put in place, the percentage of consumers that are unaware when their car’s MOT has expired has increased dramatically. As a result, motorists who wouldn’t normally seek to break the law are unwittingly becoming criminals.”
Sandy Burgess, SMTA Chief Executive commented, “In light of our results, we strongly recommend that the Government introduce an official reminder service that tells motorists when their vehicle’s MOT is due. This will reduce confusion from consumers and ensure more aren’t unknowingly becoming criminals, and it will also take the pressure away from small businesses to remind their customers of their MOT renewal date. Most importantly, it will improve road safety in the UK.