Cost of living crisis: Around 400,000 unsafe cars could be on the roads in March as people can’t afford MOTs

The cost of living crisis has seen many people prioritising spending their money elsewhere - leaving potentially hundreds of thousands of unsafe cars on the road in March

Around 400,000 unsafe cars could potentially be on the roads in the UK this month as people simply cannot afford to get an MOT due to the cost of living crisis. With the spiralling cost of everything from energy bills to groceries, Brit’s budgets are being stretched more than ever.

According to a new study, around one in six drivers (17 percent) whose cars are due for an MOT in March say they won’t be able to pay for them. Two-thirds of those say they are prioritising their spending elsewhere amid the crisis.

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An MOT is crucial for the safety of a car with the test to verify roadworthiness a legal requirement. An MOT test checks a number of parts such as lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes to ensure they meet legal standards.

When an MOT is conducted, a car can be handed ‘advisories’ which are future potential problems for cars, but are not urgent issues. An MOT certificate currently lasts for just one year, needing to be renewed annually.

If caught driving a car without  a valid MOT, motorists could potentially be fined up to £1,000. According to Checkatrade, the maximum cost of an MOT for a car is legally set at £54.85.

The Government announced in January,  it was considering moving the MOT test requirement from every year to every two years, to help combat financial pressures currently being experienced across the country.

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Speaking to Autocar, an AA spokesperson said: “Although well intended, moving the yearly £55 spend on an MOT to every two years could make costs worse for drivers with higher repair bills, make our roads more dangerous and put jobs in the garage industry at risk.

“Only recently the government stepped away from switching the MOT to every two years on the grounds of road safety, while AA polling shows overwhelming support from drivers who like the security that an annual health check provides.”

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Nicholas Lyes, head of policy at the RAC, said: “The purpose of an MOT is to ensure vehicles meet a basic level of safety for driving on our roads. Shifting it from annually to every two years would see a dramatic increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles and could make our roads far less safe.”

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