Express EU scare story is bullshit shocker

NOW the Express warns readers “Now Brussels wants MOTs every two years“.

ANNUAL MOTs for cars could be scrapped under Brussels-led proposals to harmonise safety checks across Europe.

Bureaucrats want Britain to adopt a system in which MOTs are done only every two years.

That doesn’t make sense – the EU is bringing in these regulations to make roads safer, so why would they stop anyone from having a more regular MOT?

Well, let’s have a look at what the EU actually said (PDF, p. 14).

Member States may: (a) bring forward the date for the first compulsory roadworthiness test and, where appropriate, require the vehicle to be submitted for testing prior to registration; (b) shorten the interval between two successive compulsory tests;

In other words, the four years – two years thing is the bare minimum. We’re still allowed to have our annual MOTs, and in fact, we’re probably making Brussels rather happy by doing so.

So the Express story was nothing but a complete lie. Oh wow, what a surprise.

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  1. #1 by Press Not Sorry on Sunday, 15th August 2010 - 15:15 UTC

    [A Department for Transport spokeswoman said last night: “No decisions have been taken on the content of any review.”]

    No decisions taken yet, then. Non-story by The Express.

    [Member States may: (a) bring forward the date for the first compulsory roadworthiness test and, where appropriate, require the vehicle to be submitted for testing prior to registration; (b) shorten the interval between two successive compulsory tests;]

    That seems to say that the date of the first MOT of a new car could be brought forward, so could mean parts of Europe moving into line with the UK, where a car has it’s first test at 3 years old rather than 4. It also appears to say that new cars might be required to have an MOT before they’re even registered to an owner, and that the EU are proposing to “shorten the interval between two successive tests.”

    To me that would seem to be saying the EU is proposing the adoption of UK time scales for MOTs, not extending the length between tests to 2 years. Is this Express journalist even reading the same document, I wonder?

    • #2 by atomicspin on Sunday, 15th August 2010 - 15:25 UTC

      To be (slightly) fair to the Express, the EU says that cars should be tested at least “four years after the date on which the vehicle was first
      used, and thereafter every two years”, so they won’t be going to a UK system just yet. Likewise, the bit about testing before registration isn’t compulsory, it’s just saying “If you want to do this, we don’t mind”.

      I’d imagine this bill is aimed mostly at the recent Eastern European members, some of whom don’t have vehicle checks at all, not countries like France or the UK.

      But, like you say, the Department for Transport isn’t making any changes to UK testing schedules, and the EU is leaving plenty of leeway for countries to change to a British schedule.

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