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MOT Modernisation, and Bertha Benz's amazing journey!

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Government committed to MOT modernisation as consultation concludes

  • First MOT test to remain three years after buying new cars, as Government listens to drivers.
  • Government to explore modernising the test for electric and automated vehicles following extensive feedback.
  • Follows the biggest ever investment to improve local roads of £8.3 billion.

The Government has published its response to the consultation on updating MOT testing for cars, motorbikes and vans, which confirms that the first MOT will remain at three years from registration. Every subsequent MOT will also continue to be taken once every year, ensuring motorists can continue to drive with peace of mind.

Launched in January 2023, the consultation sought views to ensure roadworthiness checks continue to balance the cost to motorists, road safety, advances in vehicle technology, and tackling vehicle emissions.

To ensure MOTs are fit for the future, the Government will further investigate how to better monitor diesel vehicle emissions through the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). This will include whether testing should do more to ensure that diesel vehicles comply with emissions regulations.

Analysis from the AA suggests that an annual MOT can potentially save drivers between £200 and £400 as picking up developing faults each year means drivers aren't hit with higher repair bills further down the road.

But when did we first need an MOT test?

The MOT test was first introduced on a voluntary basis in September 1960. The test was originally a basic test including brakes, lights and steering check which was to be carried out after the vehicle was ten years old and then every year. Voluntary testing ended on 15 February 1961 and, as a result of the high test failure rate, the age for first testing was quickly reduced to seven years in December 1961. In April 1967, the testable age for a MOT was reduced even further to three years, where it remains.

And on this day in history

On the 29th January 1886 patent number 37435 was granted to Karl Benz for his Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which is widely regarded as the world's first purpose built automobile.

While Benz designed and built the car, his wife Bertha financed the operation. She also took the third Motorwagen produced on the first long distance automobile trip.

Without her husband's knowledge, Bertha Benz drove Benz's newly constructed Patent Motorwagen No. 3 from Mannheim to Pforzheim – to visit her mother – becoming the first person to drive an automobile powered with an internal combustion engine over more than a very short distance. Distances driven before this historic trip were short, being merely trials with mechanical assistants.

Bertha had an ulterior motive: to show her husband – who had failed to properly market his invention – that the automobile would become a financial success once it was shown to be useful to the general public. Her 120+ mile journey demonstrated the vehicle's ease of use and durability. A marketing coup!

Along the way, several people were scared of the automobile and the trip received a huge amount of publicity – exactly as Bertha had intended. The drive was also useful for Karl Benz, as he was able to introduce several improvements after his wife reported everything that had happened along the way – and she made important suggestions, such as the introduction of an additional gear for climbing hills.

And all without an MOT!

To read more about the MOT modernisation consultation click HERE

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