The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) and Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) report that since the end of the paper tax disc, 91.2 per cent of garages have seen an increase in the number of customers bringing cars that have expired MOTs in.
Checking a vehicle’s paper tax disc used to be a common method of checking whether a vehicle still had a valid MOT, as road tax and MOTs usually coincide. Now that the system has been digitalised, however, consumers who pay for their road tax monthly receive no reminders that their tax is due, and therefore potentially forget to MOT their car.
Respondents were also asked if they had any further comments, and over a quarter of them responded. There was a general consensus that although customers forgetting to MOT their vehicles has always been an issue, the problem has worsened since the 2014 road tax changes.
Many of the comments from garage owners say that an MOT reminder service is something their business has had to provide to customers themselves, but they believe it should be the government’s responsibility.
Stuart James, RMI director commented: “The results of this survey overwhelmingly show that we were right to have concerns. In the short space of time since the road tax changes were put in place, the percentage of consumers that are unaware when their car’s MOT has expired has increased dramatically. As a result, motorists who wouldn’t normally seek to break the law are unwittingly becoming criminals.”
In January the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) published figures showing 10 per cent of MOT failures were due to tyre issues – the second most frequent reason. Therefore delays in MOT also equate to delays in tyre sales.