Following on from the previous blog entry regarding the MOT first test going to four years, further information has come to hand. The actual words were:

“We will consult on extending the deadline for new cars and motorbikes to have their first MOT test from 3 years to 4 years, which would save motorists over £100m a year.”
It should be noted that vans were not mentioned.

Apparantly light commercial vehicles were excluded due to the high failure rate (50%) of Class 7 vehicles. It should also be noted that to exclude light commercial vehicles from having their first test at the end of year 3, the current vehicle classes will probably need to be changed to those used in Europe so that light commercials currently in Class 4, can be distilled out of the whole and treated differently. This too will take time to achieve. The DFT has also said that they see any change as being unlikely to take effect before 2017.

It should also be noted that the DfT will be very busy at that time putting in place the latest EU regulations taking affect in 2018, and they may decide to do both at the same time. We would also have a strong argument that given the higher failure rate of Class 7 vehicles, and that brakes are the predominant failure item, the same may well apply to light commercials in Class 4 (the statistics for which are currently buried in the Class 4 test results) – so we could make a robust case that both Class 7 and Class 4 light  commercial vehicles should be Tested to a 1-1-1 regime.
In terms' of volumes, the above could more than compensate for the loss of year three car tests, but does not change the threat to road safety that that change incurs.
I think the bottom line is that there are a lot of negotiations both in the UK and with regards to EU, so whilst the above information is at this stage valid, things may change drastically as time passes.