In the U.K., having an mot Check on a yearly basis (after three years if it is a new car) is a legal requirement. This test ensures that the car is roadworthy and is an annual test that many drivers fear. Many wonder why it is a legal requirement and what it actually means.
Originally to Test the Safety
Safety has always been a major concern for road users and pedestrians. In 1960, Ernest Marples made the MOT compulsory and was carried out on vehicles when they were 10 years old and every year after that. It was mainly to make sure the brakes, steering and lights were working fully. It took seven years for the initial testing date to be reduced to when cars were three years old due to a high number of failures.
The idea was that testing the brakes and lights etc. would make the roads safer for other drivers and pedestrians alike. Drivers would only need to account for human error and other drivers would be able to see oncoming and upcoming traffic.
Protecting the Environment
Now, the car check includes many more elements. More safety elements were added as governments realised that the tyres and windscreen wipers added some danger to other road users. The seat belts were also added to ensure passengers were safe in cars.
Now, car checkers will test the exhausts to make sure the vehicles are safe for the environment. The exhausts should only let out a certain amount of CO2 emissions. The battery is also checked for leaking, as well as to make sure it works correctly.
Save Money in the Long Run
While it seems like it costs a lot of money to Check mot each year, they do save money in the long run. Some of the problems can go undetected for long periods of time. Brake pads may be worn so much but not detectable until they have completely worn through. Exhausts may be letting out more emissions without anybody realizing until it is too late. The longer something is left, the more money it will usually cost to fix.
While they seem like an extra expense, the governments have created and updated the test to ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians and then environment.