Drivers of safety

In an effort to maintain and improve road safety, drivers in the mainland of the United Kingdom are required to submit their vehicles for an annual inspection of vehicle safety and exhaust emissions. This test is referred to as the MOT test (Ministry of Transport test), and is currently required yearly by the Department for Transport for most vehicles over three years old. Today, at least 20,000 garages throughout Great Britain provide this service, which costs drivers up to £29.65 for motorcycles and £54.85 for cars, with the average fee ringing in at £33.60. The actual inspection price varies by garage, with lower MOT prices usually signalling higher markups on the replacement parts a driver may need to whip their vehicle into shape. In fact, most garages rake in handsome sums not only administering the MOT, but also performing the (typically small) repairs necessary to help a vehicle pass: the average driver will pay £143 in repair costs before the vehicle is ready to pass inspection. Between inspections and repairs, MOT testing generates about £250 million a year in revenue for local garages. This sizeable industry has gone for over 20 years without being seriously evaluated; however, recent evidence suggests that these inspections have almost no effect on road safety.

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