Road Safety News

TyreSafe urges Government to rethink MOT proposals

Wednesday 5th April 2017

TyreSafe is urging the Government to reconsider proposals to extend the period before a new vehicle’s first MOT is due, on the back of data which suggests that 5% of cars fail their first MoT due to defective tyres.

Figures obtained by TyreSafe from the DVSA show that tyre defects accounted for more than a quarter (27%) of all car MOT failures during 2016. TyreSafe says this equates to 2.2m cars, making tyre defects the second most common reason for an MoT failure after defective lighting.

TyreSafe says 106,000 of these failures were cars undergoing their first MoT, which equates to 5% of all first time car MOTs.

Under Government proposals outlined in January, and currently out for consultation, new cars and motorcycles will no longer require an MOT until they have been on the road for four years, rather than three as at present.

While acknowledging that the MOT plays an important role in ensuring the safety of vehicles, road safety minister Andrew Jones said new vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago when the MOT-free period was reduced from 10 to three years.

However in a press release issued yesterday (4 April), TyreSafe said the Government should reflect on ‘unacceptable’ MOT failure rates due to tyre defects.

TyreSafe also says that ‘far too many of Britain’s motorists are not carrying out routine tyre maintenance checks between MOTs’.

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said: “The existing MOT failure rates are unacceptable as they are and, based on current evidence, it’s reasonable to suggest any extension would only result in more defective tyres on Britain’s roads.

“Many of the Government’s own departments, agencies, and associate companies, along with road safety stakeholders, are working tirelessly to make our roads ever safer and reduce the number of incidents.

“TyreSafe believes increasing the grace period for cars’ first MOT to four years would counteract those efforts and would urge those involved in the consultation to reject this proposal purely on the grounds of safety.

“However, regardless of legislation, drivers individually need to take their responsibilities to road safety seriously and carry out routine checks to stay tyre safe out on the roads.”

The Government consultation on extending the MOT ‘grace period’ is open for comments until 16 April.

Related stories 

Government to extend new car MOT-free period to four years
23 January 2017

Drivers could avoid MOT fails with simple checks and maintenance
23 February 2017



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Only 5% of cars had tyres that in some way were defective at their first MOT after 3 years usage. Whilst that is not to be applauded it's a smaller amount of defected tyres than I would have imagined.

My question to the tyre safety group is were most of those defective tyres on vehicles that were used commercially and therefore do thousands of mile per annum or where the majority merely domestic users with a much smaller annual mileage?
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

I thought one of the original reasons to change to 4 years was to harmonise regulations with the EU. If so, I would suggest that is no longer a good enough reason to add delays to this vital car safety check. Many people rely on the MOT as it is the only time their car sees the inside of a service garage/ workshop.
Pat, Wales

Agree (9) | Disagree (2)