Ministers have decided to maintain the period before a car’s first MOT test at three years.

The decision comes after a Department for Transport (DfT) consultation last year to consider changing the wait before the first test to four years.

Most responses to the consultation were against the proposals on safety grounds, arguing that the savings to motorists were outweighed by the risk to road users and the test often highlights upcoming issues affecting the vehicle.

A public survey for DfT by Populus also showed fewer than half of people were in favour of the change.

Roads minister Jesse Norman said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, and are always looking at ways of making them safer.

“Although modern cars are better built and safer than when the MOT test was last changed 50 years ago, there has been a clear public concern that any further changes don’t put people’s lives at risk.

“We are looking at further research to ensure the MOT test evolves with the demands of modern motoring.”

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “We believe that the government’s decision to stick with the first MOT being at three years is the right decision and one which will be welcomed by the majority of drivers and road safety campaigners.

“Our RAC breakdown data suggests that for the majority of vehicles, it would have been reasonable to move the date of a first MOT test from three to four years. However, for high-mileage vehicles, four years was too long before the first MOT and therefore it made sense to keep it simple and retain the current three-year arrangement.”