The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) says that evidence of poor maintenance on large vans means that yearly MOT tests should be required.
This is a topic we covered here on the vanrental.co.uk blog back in March 2016, when we flagged up government figures showing that 49% of vans fail their first MOT at three years old. Worryingly, almost 25% of failures were the result of brake defects. That’s a potentially dangerous problem on a heavily laden 3.5t van.
The rules haven’t changed yet.
But the government has been consulting on plans to extend the MOT period for new cars to four years, up from the current three-year requirement. The BVRLA says that it supports this proposal, but does not believe it should be extended to class 7 vans (3,000kg – 3,500kg) due to safety concerns.
The BVRLA’s view, which I share, is that the date of the first MOT test for large (class 7) vans should be cut to one year after first registration, in order to address the potential safety concerns resulting from the current high test failure rate.
Commenting on the government’s plans, BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said:
“Modern cars are safer than ever, and rental and leasing vehicles are typically checked, serviced and repaired on a regular basis. As such, we believe the proposed extension before the first MOT test is required can be implemented without risk to public safety.
“However, van traffic is growing, and these vehicles’ average annual mileages are significantly higher than the average car on UK roads. At a time when the government’s own data shows large vans have appalling first time pass rates, the BVRLA believes these vehicles should be getting tested every year, not every three or four years. Many large vans fail their first MOT because they have not been well maintained and have substandard brakes, so they pose a real risk to road safety.”
The BVRLA says that it has met with the Department for Transport to discuss the proposals and intends to continue engaging with the Department after the consultation period has ended.
Trade bodies are often criticised for lobbying for changes that will cut costs or boost growth for their members. But in this case I think the BVRLA should be applauded for focusing on safety, even though it will increase the regulatory burden for its member companies.