Plans to extend the MOT-free period for new cars have been shelved.

The government has scrapped plans to extend the period before a car’s first MOT test to four years after a public survey found that fewer than half of people were actually in favour of the proposed changes.

In January 2017, the Department for Transport (DfT) suggested extending the exemption period between a car being registered and its first MOT test from three to four years. The government justified the move by claiming that modern vehicles were safer and better built than they had been in the past, meaning a longer ‘MOT-free’ period would not compromise safety.

The DfT also claimed the proposal would save drivers ‘more than £100 million a year’. Presumably in emergency screenwash and new tyres.

Now, though, the plans have been shelved after a 12-month consultation period unearthed significant safety concerns surrounding the scheme.

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A statement from the Department for Transport said: ‘Most of those responding to the consultation were against the proposals on safety grounds, arguing that the savings to motorists were outweighed by the risk to road users and the test often highlights upcoming issues affecting the vehicle.’

Roads minister Jesse Norman said that the government was looking at other ways to ‘evolve’ the MOT test.

‘We have some of the safest roads in the world, and are always looking at ways of making them safer,’ he said. ‘Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MOT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.

‘We are looking at further research to ensure that the MOT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.’