MOT tests could be changed from every year to every two years under UK Government proposals.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has started a consultation on changing the requirement for a first MOT for a new vehicle from three years to four years.

It is also, due to improvements in vehicle safety, considering reducing the frequency of MOTs for older cars, vans and motorbikes.

UK Government consultation states: “We are considering if it is appropriate to move to testing every two years rather than every year, reflecting the progress in improving vehicle safety.

“There are differences between the different types of vehicles. We ask, therefore, for your views separately on cars, vans and motorbikes."

It adds: “At present, cars, light goods vehicles (including vans) and motorbikes must have a first MOT after three years and then annually thereafter.

“We would welcome views on whether the improvement in vehicle design and build quality and in-vehicle monitoring systems means that vehicles can be tested less frequently.”

The DfT said it is recognised changes will have an impact on the income of garages.

It said changing the date for a first MOT could cost garages across the UK more than £100m.

The consultation added: “Increasing the date at which a first MOT is required, will mean that the 23,400 garages approved as MOT test stations will lose revenue.

“Based on historical registration data combined with vehicle forecasts, increasing the date to four years would result in fewer annual tests, a range of 1.36 million to 2.97m fewer tests due to changes in future vehicle registration.

“Applying the various MOT fee to each vehicle type, this equates to an annual loss of revenue to garages of £56.3m to £123.6m.”

It is noted that there could be a further impact on garages if the change to the date of the first MOT leads to vehicle owners delaying servicing because many owners combine the servicing of their car with an MOT.

However, it is also noted that vehicles will still need to be maintained and are more likely to fail the MOT the older they are.

The consultation states: "The MOT test has been in place since the 1960s and the three-year threshold for the first MOT test since the late 1960s.

"The MOT test was first introduced to assure the safety of a vehicle, in practice the effectiveness of safety-critical components such as tyres and brakes. In recent years, the concept of roadworthiness has expanded to encompass vehicle emissions and effects on the environment."

It has been noted that vehicles are safer now than before when MOT tests were first introduced.

The consultation states: "Since the 1960s there have been major advances in vehicle manufacture. Vehicles are better built, making them more resilient to wear and tear. There are also huge advances in systems providing safety information to the driver."