The Plan to Scrap the Annual MOT Test Announced in 2022

On top of an ongoing pandemic and international instability, everything’s suddenly more expensive. Energy, fuel, food – even digital services like Netflix have gone up in price. Family budgets are squeezed ever tighter amid this cost of living crisis, which is the worst in 40 years.

But it’s the most vulnerable people in the UK who are feeling the worst effects. Having to choose whether to feed your family or keep them warm is a heartbreaking situation, one which those of us with a certain degree of financial security might struggle to relate to.

And so, to ease the cost of living, the government proposed scrapping the annual MOT test in favour of a two-yearly test.

This is a rather bizarre move, considering the price of the MOT test is already capped at £54.85 for a family car, and is often found for cheaper. It’s also of no help to people who can’t afford a car, elederly people who’ve given up driving, a significant number of disaabled people – and basically anyone who has been the most deeply impacted by the cost of living crisis.

Long-term, fewer MOT tests means more dangerous cars, more accidents – and higher insurance premiums as a result. Worst of all, it will put more lives at risk.


In 2018, the leading causes of car crashes in Great Britain were defective brakes and tyres.

In 2020 there were 29 fatal accidents and 345 serious injury accidents where a vehicle defect was a contributing factor, according to RoSPA.

Now, consider that 30% of vehicles failed the MOT test in that same year. If these cars were allowed on the road, how many more crashes, injuries and deaths could there have been? It’s simply not worth thinking about.

The annual MOT test is a bare minimum requirement for good reason; car parts wear out. It is entirely possible for a set of tyres to be perfectly legal at the point of an MOT test, and be worn down to an illegal level before the next MOT is due. Brake pads and discs don’t last forever, and the periodic checking in an MOT test is often the most servicing the majority of cars on the road ever get.

Most manufacturers recommend that you book a full car service every 12,000 miles or at least annually, with an interim service every 6 months or 6,000 miles.

While we don’t have any real hard statistics on this – we’re confident that most people hardly ever service their cars that regularly.

We get it. People are busy, and simply forget that servicing and maintaining a car is important. Most car owners will only pay attention when their car doesn’t start on the first try, or if the brakes are squealing, or if something feels off. Other than that, if it’s driving as usual – nobody’s thinking much about their next service.

The MOT test is about the only time a car gets inspected for safety, and it happens once a year. Double that window, and you double the chances of dangerous cars being out on the road.


The reasons for the cost of living crisis in the UK are many, and the answer is never going to be as simple as ”tax this, scrap that, defund this”. For example, when fuel duty was lowered by five pence per litre, less than half of that saving was passed on to consumers.

It’s complicated, and some humans tend to do weird things in crises; like profiteering.

But we can safely say that the answer is definitely not to scrap the annual MOT test. It won’t save any money in real terms, and will only serve to make roads more dangerous.


Book an MOT test in Eastleigh, with Master Tech Autos – or call us on 023 8061 1161 to talk to one of our qualified mechanics.

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