MOT tests: Drivers given six-month extension during UK coronavirus outbreak – here’s how the new rules work

MOT tests: Drivers given six-month extension during UK coronavirus outbreak – here’s how the new rules work
MOT tests: Drivers given six-month extension during UK coronavirus outbreak – here’s how the new rules work

Car, bike and van owners are to be given a six-month MOT extension as the country attempts to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The Department for Transport has announced that all ‘light’ vehicles due an MOT from March 30 onward will be given the exemption.

The move means that drivers will legally be able to use their car for essential travel, such as going to do basic shopping, caring for a vulnerable relative or getting to work where it is an essential role that can’t be done from home.

Garages will remain open to carry out essential repair work.

Allowing vital services to continue

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID19 are able to do so.

“Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people get essential food and medicine.

“Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work.”

While all vehicles due an MOT from March 30 will receive an automatic MOT extension, those due one before then must still have the test carried out.

 

MOT testing
Owners must still keep their vehicles in roadworthy condition or face prosectution (Photo: Shutterstock)

There is guidance for those whose MOT is due before March 30 here. Separate guidance for those due an MOT on or after March 30 can be found here.

Vehicles eligible for the extension must still be kept in a roadworthy condition and drivers can still be prosecuted if they are driving an unsafe vehicle.

The legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations.

What to do if you car is due an MOT soon

If your MOT is due on or after March 30, you do not need to do anything. Your vehicle will automatically be given a six-month extension from its MOT expiry date and online records will be updated to reflect this.

You must, however, keep your vehicle maintained in a roadworthy condition. And once the exemption expires you will have to submit your car/bike/van for testing.

If your vehicle’s MOT is due before March 30, or has already expired, it must pass the test before you are allowed to drive it.

Garages are classified as essential services and are allowed to remain open to carry out MOTs and essential repairs, so you should be able to get an MOT if your vehicle requires one.

However, if you or anyone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19, or you are classified as vulnerable, you must not take your car to an MOT centre.

If you can’t get an MOT that’s due because you’re in self-isolation, the Department for Transport says it is working with insurers and the police to ensure people aren’t unfairly penalised for things out of their control.

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