More than three quarters of British motorists are opposed to government proposals that would see the time between MOT tests extended. That’s according to research published this month by the AA, which surveyed more than 14,500 drivers and found overwhelming support for existing rules.

The government recently closed a consultation on proposals to change the frequency of the MOT test, which is currently carried out annually on vehicles over three years old. However, the government is considering carrying out MOTs every two years for vehicles over four years old, in the hope of saving drivers money.

The AA study found 77 percent of respondents were in favour of maintaining the current rules, with 92 percent of respondents saying the tests play a “key role in keeping dangerous vehicles off the road”. Three quarters (75 percent) of respondents also suggested the test should be made more stringent, with checks on driver assistance technology wherever it is fitted.

Halfords Mot and Service Centre in Northampton

In its response to the consultation, the AA told the government it should modernise the requirements of the MOT test, but no change should be made to its frequency. The organisation even published images of bald tyres and broken seatbelt buckles to highlight the issues commonly picked up by MOT testers.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said vehicles were not always kept in good condition, and the MOT would help to ensure safety for road users.

“On safety grounds alone, it would be foolish to move away from an annual test and indeed moving the first MOT to four years as many cars show up with brake or tyre defects in that period,” he said. “Our photos are evidence that some vehicles are kept on the road in varying degrees of disrepair, with more than a quarter (27.88 percent) of cars and vans initially failing their MOT.

Mechanic performing MOT inspection

“Modernising and future-proofing the MOT is a natural next step and will help give consumers confidence should they purchase an electric car, one with highly complex driver assistance packages or indeed a connected car.

“Similarly, a fifth (20 percent) of drivers believe it is worth investigating if MOTs can be carried out away from garages in an effort to help drivers stay on the road. In the future we believe that various aspects of the MOT could be carried out remotely using connected car technology.”