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NFDA submits its MOT consultation response: 98% believe motorist safety will fall

NFDA 22/03/2023

“NFDA strongly opposes Government’s proposed changes to the current MOT system. The public that are buying new cars are predominantly buying those from franchised dealers, therefore a substantial amount of first time MOTs will be conducted at a franchised dealer site. It is common consensus from our members that increasing the initial test from 3 years to 4 years will have a detrimental impact on vehicle safety and unnecessarily risk lives”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK. 

Today (Wednesday 22 March), NFDA submitted its consultation response to the Department for Transport (DfT), which proposes the initial testing period for an MOT to increase from 3 years to 4 years, among other MOT enhancements. 

Since the announcement, NFDA has surveyed its franchised dealer members to better understand how they would perceive the changes which impact motorists and the safety of their vehicles. The survey results displayed a strong consensus and rebuttal from the dealers around any decision to change the existing MOT regime.  

  • Franchised dealer members reveal 98% are concerned motorists' safety will fall if the proposed MOT change goes ahead.
  • 97% of the surveyed respondents claim a change would directly lead to an increase in vehicle defects.
  • 98% do not believe the change will save motorists any extra costs, directly opposing one of Government’s key arguments for increasing the initial test from 3 to 4 years. 

In addition to the NFDA Member survey, the consultation response opposes various parts of DfT’s prepositions, exploring a range of topics: 

  • Safety implications. 
  • Risking the UK’s leading safety record.
  • Consideration of Light Commercial Vehicles and leased vehicles that do disproportionately high annual mileage.
  • Negative impact on consumers, businesses, third party suppliers and the environment.
  • Reduction in Vehicle technicians – contributing to unemployment.
  • Electric vehicle transition disrupted. 

Sue Robinson concluded:  

“It is crucial that the Government keeps the country's road safety as a priority and maintain the current MOT structure. Changing the MOT test from 3 to 4 years will result in insignificant savings for motorists. If the Government is committed to saving motorist’s money, a reduction in Vehicle Exercise Duty (VED) or keeping road tax stable would have a more profound impact.

“In order for us to maintain pressure on this issue with parliament, NFDA will be writing to members of the shadow transport department outlining our safety and business concerns with the proposals put forward by DfT.  

We encourage signing and sharing the automotive trade bodies’ petition to stop the DfT’s dangerous proposals to the MOT regime in GB.” 




The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) is the leading representative body for the UK’s automotive franchised car, motorcycle, and commercial vehicle retailers. The NFDA retains around 85% of the 4,500 franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers within membership and among our members are some of the UK’s largest companies, including Arnold Clark, Sytner Group and Lookers. The automotive retail sector is one of the pillars of the UK economy; employing 555,000 of the 800,000 people working in the automotive sector and has a turnover of around £200 billion. 

If you would like to access the NFDA survey's results please contact: 

Adam Weeks NFDA Communications Officer 

Direct: 020 7307 3413 

Mobile: 0788 003 9897 



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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.