Mandatory MOTs to be reintroduced from August 1

Today the government has announced that mandatory MOTs for vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales will be reintroduced from 1 August to keep roads safe. This follows the six-month exemption which began on 30 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As lockdown measures ease and more people return to the roads, there are growing concerns about the conditions of cars and road safety which has prompted the reintroduction of mandatory MOTs for cars, motorcycles and vans.

The government has encouraged drivers to book a test in advance to ensure vehicles are in a roadworthy condition. Only some garages remained open to conduct essential services during the coronavirus outbreak, but now over 90% are open across the country. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing.

Our Risk Management Team have provided guidance to answer any queries you may have about the reinstatement of mandatory MOTs which can be found below:

My MOT ran out before 30 March. What should I do?

If your MOT was due before 30 March and you were unable to get your vehicle tested due to implications linked to COVID-19, then we recommend you call the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency on 0300 123 9000 to explain your situation.

If your MOT has run out and you are unable to get an extension, you may 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. However, you will be able to drive it to the test centre when you do this.

The Department for Transport is currently working with insurers and the police to ensure people are not unfairly penalised for things outside of their control. Although it can’t be guaranteed that you won’t have to take your vehicle off the road, it is worth asking if there is another option.

My MOT is due to expire before 1 August. Do I still require an MOT?

If the expiry date on your vehicle’s MOT is on or after Monday 30 March and before Saturday 1 August, you will automatically receive a six-month extension. For example, if your MOT’s expiry date is 31 July 2020, you will receive an automatic extension until 31 January 2021.

However, it is important to note that you must keep your car in a roadworthy condition. A high percentage of garages have resumed a normal service, which means there should be no difficulty in getting any necessary repairs done.

My MOT is due to expire after 1 August but I am self-isolating at the moment. What should I do?

For most of the population that are not self-isolating whose MOT is due on or after Saturday 1 August 2020, it is required that you get a new MOT done to prove your vehicle’s safety and roadworthiness to ensure that you’re able to drive it legally.

However, if your MOT is due on or after August and you’re shielding or self-isolating, the DfT suggests contacting local test centres as many are offering to pick-up and drop-off cars so they can be tested without their owners having to leave their homes.

Does the MOT extension affect car insurance and tax?

There is no reason for concern about anything changing when purchasing car insurance, as you don’t need to enter your MOT expiry date during the process. When you tax your car, your MOT expiry date is already logged on the Government’s vehicle enquiry service, meaning you will not need to do any calculations to work out your MOT date as it should be extended automatically.

However, the Government says if your MOT was originally due in the same month as your vehicle tax and is being extended due to coronavirus, you won’t be able to tax your vehicle until the extension has been applied. This happens up to seven days before your MOT is due to expire.

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