The Coronavirus 6-month MOT extension
The UK Coronavirus lockdown started on 23rd March 2020. As life changed for everyone in ways we could never have imagined the Government announced that MOT test expiry dates were to be extended by 6 months to help the public stay mobile.
However, a large number of UK business were struggling to perform under new social distancing measures, and many of the British workforce were isolating with Covid-19 symptoms. The MOT extension was a widely welcomed move from the British Government, who stepped in to help ease the pressure and panic for drivers everywhere.
If your MOT was due before 30th March 2020
For drivers whose MOTs were due before 29th March 2020, they had to book the test as normal, unless they, or someone they lived with, were showing symptoms of the Coronavirus, or that they were extremely vulnerable to the virus. However, motorists without a valid MOT at this point weren’t permitted to drive their car without one.
This was purely down to how the legal system works. Because the law officially changed on 30th March, vehicles whose MOTs were due before that date weren’t in a position to take advantage of the modified legislation.
For those entering isolation without a valid MOT, they had to follow the existing laws and weren’t permitted to drive their vehicles apart from to a pre-booked MOT test appointment.
If your MOT was due on or after 30th March 2020
Under the new law that came into effect on 30th March, drivers whose tests were due after 30th March had a 6-month extension to book and attain their MOT certificate.
For example, if an MOT was due to run out on the 3rd May 2020, you would then have until 3rd November 2020 to carry out the MOT test.
If your MOT is due on or after 1st August 2020
The 6-month extension allowance period is coming to an end.
All drivers whose MOTs are due after 1st August 2020 will need to book their MOT as normal. All MOT centres will be open for business as usual as the Government eases lockdown restrictions. You can book your MOT tests can up to a month in advance, so for MOTs due on 1st August, drivers can book the test at any time from the 2nd July.
September to January are going to be extremely busy months for garages and MOT test centres
With many drivers choosing to take advantage of the full 6-month extension, to keep their families safe, and to avoid unnecessary contact with anyone outside of their households, the backlog of tests is going to start to affect garages and test centres very soon.
In September we’re going to see an abundance of additional vehicles requiring an MOT, as well as those that are due under their regular schedule. What this means for drivers, is that MOT testing opportunities are going to be limited by the additional vehicles in the system.
There have been plenty of drivers taking it upon themselves to have the test carried out as soon as they had the opportunity, as garages and test centres started to get back to their regular schedules. However, there are still many drivers who have taken advantage of the full 6-month extension.
Our advice—book your MOT as early as possible
If you’re one of the drivers whose MOT is due in August, we’d suggest booking your MOT as early as possible. This should help you avoid any problems with the bottlenecking of cars that will require the test.
The same message goes for all drivers who have taken advantage of the full 6-month extension and will require their test and certificate during September.
The rolling process of backlogged MOT tests within the regular schedule is going to run all the way through to the end of January 2021. It’s going to be a busier than normal time for our mechanics and testing centres.
Checking your MOT due date
You can check your v