Drivers to get six-month MOT extension due to coronavirus
Drivers who have an MOT due from Monday 30 March onwards will be granted a six-month extension because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Transport Secretary has announced.
An MOT is a test of a vehicle's safety and roadworthiness – you must have a valid MOT certificate in order to legally drive a car, motorcyle or van. But there are fears that the national lockdown due to coronavirus could make it hard for drivers with MOTs due to get their vehicle tested and keep it on the road.
The Government said today that if the expiry date on your car, motorcycle or van's MOT is on or after Monday 30 March, you DON'T have to get it tested by then.
Instead, it will automatically grant a six-month extension to your current MOT – so for example, if your vehicle's MOT was due to expire on Friday 3 April, it will now run out on 3 October 2020. However, you will still have to keep your car in a roadworthy condition and garages will remain open for those needing repairs.
What if my MOT is due to run out before Monday 30 March?
The extension only applies to MOTs expiring on or after Monday 30 March, so if your MOT runs out before then, you do still need to get your vehicle tested as normal. The Government is allowing MOT centres and garages to remain open during the lockdown, so this should still be possible. Equally, if your vehicle took and failed a first MOT prior to Monday 30 March, you will need to get it retested – it won't get an extension due to its MOT due date.
If your MOT runs out and you can't get an extension, you will likely have to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (Sorn) and take your vehicle off the road. Your vehicle will need to pass an MOT before you can drive it again – though you will be able to drive it directly to the test centre when you do this.
What if I can't get an MOT because I'm self-isolating?
If you have an MOT due before Monday 30 March and can't get your vehicle tested because you are self-isolating – or if you are unable to get it tested for another reason linked to coronavirus – then it's worth contacting the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and explaining the situation. You can call it on 0300 123 9000.
The Department for Transport says it's working with insurers and the police to ensure people are not unfairly penalised for things out of their control – so while there's no guarantee you won't have to take your vehicle off the road, it's worth asking if there's another option.
What does the Government say?
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We must ensure those on the front line of helping the nation combat Covid-19 are able to do so.
"Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, front-line workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine.
"Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work."