Mandatory MOT testing to be reintroduced

MOT tests were suspended in March as drivers were given a six month exemption to help tackle the spread of coronavirus. Photo: Getty

Mandatory MOT testing in the UK is to be reintroduced from 1 August as coronavirus restrictions are starting to ease, the government announced on Wednesday.

Drivers in England, Scotland and Wales will now be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their car, motorcycle or van if it is due for an MOT test from 1 August.

MOT tests were suspended in March as drivers were given a six-month exemption to help tackle the spread of coronavirus and to ensure key workers could keep driving during lockdown.

Drivers with an MOT due date between 30 March and 31 July will still receive the six-month exemption from testing. MOT expiry dates before 1 August will automatically be extended.

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If you have received the six-month exemption from testing this means:

  • Your vehicle will still have a valid MOT certificate for an extra six months on top of the original expiry date.

  • You can still tax your vehicle.

  • Your insurance will still be valid.

  • Your vehicle’s record will be updated so the police can see you have a valid MOT.

You can check that your expiry date has been extended online. The government advised people to check this three days before their MOT was originally due to expire.

However, the Department for Transport (DfT) has stressed that all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition. The government advised people that they are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement.

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Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle and being caught on the roads without a valid MOT certificate could mean a fine of up to £2,500.

Many garages closed during lockdown with only a few staying open to conduct essential services. Over 90% are open across the country and MOT testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing, according to the DfT.

MOT testing in Northern Ireland is still on hold, and expiry dates have been extended by 12 months.