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Author: Robin Roberts

How many times have you been caught off guard, realising almost too late that your van is due for an MoT?

This situation could come to an end soon though, as the Institute of Advanced Motorists suggests the development of a MoT reminder scheme.

All too often busy trades people and small businesses forget or neglect the requirement for an MoT on their vehicle.

23% of motorists admit that their cars have a defect which renders it illegal and 14% say their vehicle is in urgent need of repair. Bald tyres are the most frequent issue, but other common problems include faulty brakes, damaged windscreen wipers, broken or missing wing mirrors and defective brake lights.

The result of this negligence was made apparent by Director of policy and research for IAM, Neil Greig who said: “In 2010, poorly maintained vehicles caused 52 road deaths. Neglecting maintenance only leads to bigger repair bills later on, lower second-hand values, and increased fuel consumption. There are also fines if you get caught.”

Van fleets are at an even greater risk due to the threat of corporate manslaughter. Current law requires all vehicles to be roadworthy but also covers employees using their own vehicles on business.

A reminder scheme would therefore be very much welcomed by van drivers, but it will still not impact on those who simply choose not to have necessary maintenance to keep their vehicle running safely. On average the hard-up drivers are waiting four months to make a repair.

If you are caught driving without a valid MOT, you can be given three penalty points be fined up to £1,000 which will invalidate insurance policies. Businesses must have a policy in force under health and safety requirements.

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