Every year the DVLA drop me a note reminding me to buy a tax disc. Being a law-abiding kind of bloke I rush to the post office with a wedge of cash without delay, to ensure that my car stays legal. Even if it is difficult to see quite what I get in return.

Forgetting to renew your tax disc delays the transfer of a few quid into the Treasury coffers, but nobody is really inconvenienced or put at any risk. Unless you count the drop in revenue at my local post office, which might then be in the frame for the next round of closures.

A much more significant bit of paperwork is the MOT certificate, which means my car has fairly recently been passed as roadworthy. If I avoid, or even just forget, the MOT test the consequences could be serious: I might end up driving around in an unsafe car and cause an accident.

Odd, then, that no helpful reminder drops onto the doormat from VOSA, the vehicle testing agency, when your MOT is due. Which explains why I was all set to jump into one of my cars the other day until something made me check up on its MOT date, and I found the thing had already expired.

As the Institute of Advanced Motorists point out the MOT system has been computerised over the last few years, and it could easily be set up to send out reminders – reminders which wouldn't just be there to encourage us to pay a bit of tax, but would be there to make sure older vehicles are regularly tested and kept roadworthy, so the roads are safer places. And that's something we all want.

So it would be easy for VOSA to send out MOT reminders - but it doesn't, and apparently has no intention of starting.

Why not?