Fears of unsafe cars on road as millions delay their MOTs

One in seven (14%) drivers plan to make full use of the six-monthly APK renewal, a new survey suggests.

A survey conducted by RAC Approved Garages found that more than three times as many motorists (44%) plan to have their cars checked normally despite the impact of the corona virus.

Of the drivers who want to postpone the MOT for as long as possible, 83% say this is because they are confident in the technical condition of their vehicle.

This is despite the test covering a number of areas that are difficult or impossible for a driver to check on themselves, such as seat belt safety, brakes and exhaust emissions, according to RAC Motoring Services head Adam O”neill.

He said: “Since the coronavirus blockage came into effect, hundreds of thousands of vehicles have missed their normal MOT every month and in turn, there is a risk that more unworthy cars will be driving on our roads, especially as many more of us are now driving compared to marching .

“It is therefore encouraging to see that a large proportion of the people we interviewed clearly care about the condition of their car and are not deterred from getting it through their MOT or being serviced normally.

“But at the same time, understandably, a few drivers remain, concerned about how safe it is to visit a garage during the pandemic.”

About 2,200 drivers were surveyed for the study.

All cars, vans and motorcycles in the UK are eligible to postpone MOT tests since March 30 due to the pandemic, while drivers in Northern Ireland have been granted a one-year exemption.

A separate report from the road safety charity, Green Flag, highlights the dangers of millions of drivers postponing an APK.

It cited the government’s test data, which showed that of the 37 million licensed cars and vans in Britain, nearly a third fail the first MOT, while more than a fifth have a serious malfunction.

A survey of 2,019 drivers found that 9% never perform safety checks on their vehicles, and another 27% only once a year.

A fifth (20%) of the respondents admitted to driving a car that was not roadworthy, rising to 38% for 18-34 year olds.

Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that 39 people died and 378 were seriously injured on Britain’s roads in accidents where a vehicle failure was a contributing factor in 2018.

Campaign Brake Director Joshua Harris emphasized the importance of regular vehicle safety checks.

“Even minor defects, such as a worn-out wiper blade, can play a role in a catastrophic crash,” he said.

“Drivers are responsible for the safety of a vehicle and this is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly.

“We urge all drivers to carry out a tour of their vehicle on a regular basis, once a week and for long journeys.

“It’s a few minutes that could be the difference between life and death.”

A DfT spokeswoman said, “The APK exemption has been introduced to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Drivers are required by law to ensure that their vehicle is ready to drive at all times and the DVSA has instructed drivers on how to keep a car safe.

“Garages may remain open throughout the pandemic to ensure that cars can be repaired and maintained.”

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