While most of us know to take our cars in for an annual MOT test to make sure everything’s running well, a significant minority don’t realise that MOT testing is required by law for any cars more than three years old. A recent survey carried out by the part replacement specialists Kwik Fit found that 10 per cent of British drivers, a figure that amounts to around 3.4 million, think that MOT test certificates are optional.
The study, which quizzed 2,000 British drivers on their knowledge of vehicle regulations, also revealed that almost a half of British drivers don’t know what diagnostic checks make up the MOT test. 38 per cent expect the test to include an oil check, while two fifths think any battery issues will be fixed by the MOT tester. This widespread ignorance is a serious cause for concern, as it could lead to drivers ignoring problems they mistakenly believe will be caught by MOT testers.
All drivers should know that the MOT covers: brakes; seatbelts; steering,including suspension; lighting and signalling equipment, tyres and wheels, driver’s view of the road, body and exhaust, fuels and emissions. Just under a tenth of the drivers surveyed said they had driven on the roads without a valid MOT certificate, and around a fifth said they themselves had attempted to mend their car’s problems before testing in order to pass! It’s really important to have an up to date MOT certificate, so if you are unsure of your vehicle’s status you can check on the UK government’s website by entering your vehicle registration mark and MOT test number, if you don’t have the test number to hand you can enter the document reference number from the V5C registration certificate. MOT testing is cheap and the inconvenience of having it done is outweighed by the security it brings to everyone on British roads, so make sure you’re better informed than the drivers Kwik Fit spoke to and check your vehicle’s MOT status.
Aside from the worrying ignorance of MOT requirements displayed in the Kwik Fit survey, there were other disconcerting revelations. The survey also revealed that 46 per cent of British drivers believe they must have a spare tyre in their vehicle by law, there is no law in place concerning spare tyres, though it is of course advisable, and that they were legally required to carry an emergency warning triangle in their window. Additionally, nine per cent of those polled were unaware that car insurance was compulsory, a fact that may be of interest to highway police up and down the country. Drivers should familiarise themselves with the legislation in this area to avoid fines. If a driver is caught behind the wheel of a car for which he is not an insured driver, he can face a fixed fine of £300 and a deduction of six penalty points, and if the case goes to court the penalties can be as severe as a £5,000 fine and a complete disqualification from driving on British roads. So, make sure all your paperwork is in order before putting your foot to the pedal.
Eddie Wright is now listed on Directory World, helping to bring you the latest motoring news!