Plan for two-yearly MOTs rejected
Annual MOT tests will continue, the Government has said, as it abandoned the idea of making the vehicle check-ups less frequent.
Safety campaigners have attacked a move to two-yearly inspections, warning it would lead to "many more" deaths on the UK's roads.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening said she had decided to stick with the present system, which had been under threat in a review of red tape. She set out a series of measures designed to improve the service offered by garages after official figures showed more than a quarter of tested cars had defects missed or wrongly assessed.
Among the suggestions are online review sites, expanding industry codes of practice to include MOTs, improving the information held on MOT certificates and sending in "mystery shoppers".
"Our garages are crucial to ensuring that Britain's roads continue to be among the safest in the world," Ms Greening said.
"Most are doing good work but the latest data shows that there is room for improvement.
"I want each motorist to be confident that a visit to the garage ends with their car repaired to a high standard by reputable mechanics rather than uncertainty about cost and the quality of service. Giving drivers the very best information about garage performance is absolutely key to achieving this goal.
"It means that responsible garages will be well placed to reap the commercial benefits of transparency. Garages where performance is not up to scratch will find themselves under pressure to do more for their customers."
A group campaigning against the change, including motoring organisations like the AA and RAC, garages and road safety campaigners, welcomed the decision.
Co-ordinator Bill Duffy, chief executive of Halford Autocentres, said: "Reducing the frequency of MOTs would have been dangerous, expensive and unwanted, and we welcome the Government's sensible decision today to drop the idea. We look forward to working with Government on how to make the MOT test better and to ensure consumers receive the best customer service."