ASI: Outdated MOT Laws

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The MOT requires drivers of any vehicle older than 3 years to pay between £30 and £80 annually for vehicle safety inspections, generating over £250 million in yearly revenue for more than 20,000 garages throughout Britain. However, this industry has not been rigorously evaluated for over 20 years.

The idea of vehicle safety inspections is an outdated one stemming from widespread use of unsafe vehicles in the 1950s. Over the years, reforms have added burdens to drivers rather than removed them due to an unsubstantiated assumption that inspections increase safety. However, this assumption has proven to be inaccurate.

As vehicle technology increases, annual safety inspections are rendered more and more useless. While the MOT has remained essentially unchanged for half a century, improvements in vehicle safety technology mean traffic fatalities have dropped to just 57% of what they were a decade ago.

Read the full report here

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Spike
Member

In the United States, some states have annual vehicle inspections. These are widely recognized to be nothing but a chance for repair shops to charge for makework in the same way Obama-care commandeers customers for health-insurance corporations. One or two of the programs has been repealed, though in general, they are as immortal as the programs in some states to enforce deposits for each Coke bottle. Lately, the Environmental Protection Agency has forced states (using consent decrees) to add engine emissions checks to the annual inspection. This makes repeal impossible, even though it has been three decades since reason Magazine… Read more »

BniC
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BniC

We have no inspections here and they actually did cancel the emissions inspection a few years back that was mandatory for cars over a certain age

jgh
Member
jgh

Hmmm. I read the original report, and while THE annual vehicle test may be outdated, I don’t think A regular vehicle test is outdated. Some vehicle improvements have been driven by the testing regimes (yes, and also regulatory prodnoses). I think if an annual MOT was optional I would still have an annual test/service of some kind for my own peace of mind. I can accept that as technology has improved, so vehicle safety and not-fall-apart-ness has improved, so I’d accept a stronger testing regime for older vehicles, so my 18-year-old Corsa has to have an assessment appropriate for an… Read more »

BB01
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BB01

France. First inspection Contrôle Technique due before 4th anniversary of the car being first registered, then every two years thereafter.

MoT really only checks for poor maintenance, vehicles are sold with a certificate of compliance with extant regulations. It would make more sense therefore to make an annual service compulsory.

Bloke in Cyprus
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Bloke in Cyprus

I’ve long thought the annual inspection is pointless (although it is 4 years after registration then every two years here)… As BB01 says, the MoT only checks for (extremely) poor maintenance. I’ve just sold my 16 y/o Pajero, it was in excellent condition (serviced by myself) but most of the safety features have never been tested – ABS, seat-belt pre-tensioners, airbags, etc. Perhaps a more thorough check every five years would be more appropriate? I can’t imagine that the life vests and escape slides that Boeing fit to an aircraft in Seattle remain in place and untested until the aircraft… Read more »

Bloke in Cyprus
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Bloke in Cyprus

BTW MoT garages are separate from repair garages here (although often affiliated to a repair garage) and the test fee is fixed by the government at €35.

The test is linked to a central computer and must take a minimum of 20 minutes before a certificate can be issued.

So when I took my 45 year old Mini there was a lot of sitting around drinking coffee involved…

Spike
Member

When “the test fee is fixed by the government” but the stuff to be tested expands (for free) then the inspection becomes increasingly superficial. There was an era in Massachusetts where a friendly garage would sticker you after basically testing your headlights and verifying your serial number — and one could garage-shop. In New Hampshire (just like land-use regulation), the matters of interest extend to the purely cosmetic. Regarding seat-belt pre-tensioners, it should be possible for individual drivers to commission all these inspections. So the problem is that they don’t want such complete guarantees, just as they don’t want some… Read more »