The annual round of taking the cars for their proverbial health checks is upon me once again. We all know the routine as like it or not, it besets most of us every year and we are all fully aware of the fact that it is going to cost us some money like it or not!

My point however is this…

There really is no benefit to the current system of having your car M.o.T.’ed.


Because the only time that your car is actually guaranteed as being roadworthy is the moment that you are issued with that certificate, because as soon as 5 minutes after that something could go drastically wrong with your vehicle, but you can legally drive it on the road for another 12 months.

We all know that there is no guarantee that ANY vehicle is roadworthy at any given time, but the M.o.T. test is a system that really does need a serious rethink.

My own situation is a prime example…

My car is a 2003 Volkswagen 1.9 TDI which I have used over the past 12 months on a daily basis and has covered approximately 26,000 miles during this period. My M.o.T. uncovered the fact that the car needed a replacement C.V. (constant velocity) joint and boot on the offside front wheel, a couple of replacement tyres and a replacement number plate light. Work totalling about £400 in all, on top of the £75 that I had to pay to have the windscreen replaced a week earlier and the £120 for a full service the previous month, and £90 for replacement brake pads and a couple of discs last October. All in all a total of some £685 in maintenance costs for 12 months and 26,000 miles of use is not too bad.

Now my partners car, which is a 2004 Citroen C3 1.4 HDI which over the past 12 months has covered a staggering 1,795 miles and despite requiring a replacement indicator bulb and some headlight beam adjustment sailed through it’s M.o.T. for the 2nd year running with only an advisory for the rear tyres having some perished rubber – it seems the tyres are some 8 years old, which considering the shelf life of a tyre is only 4 years, probably tells you a lot about how much distance the car has travelled in that time.

Well, what I am trying to get at here is that my car has obviously seen some considerable use over 12 months and would have possibly benefitted from earlier attention to the C.V. Joint which could have had potentially dangerous implications, but under the M.o.T. laws was not an issue until the M.o.T. had expired, and my partners car with such little use was not really necessary to have retested, but for the statutory requirement of testing every 12 months.

Would it not be better all around if the law was changed to require that ALL vehicles are serviced at every 10,000 miles (and possibly 12 months if that mileage has not been covered). In addition to the service the vehicle should also undergo some form of M.o.T. test at the same time which could highlight any potential problems that could be categorised as “statutory” repair requirements or “advisory” repair items and this would make for a much fairer and “safer” means of ensuring that a vehicle is in a roadworthy condition, and require that higher mileage vehicles are scrutinised at more regular intervals.

Just my thoughts, but happy to receive your comments.