Government ends coronavirus MOT extension early

Normal testing rules to return from 1 August due to fears that the easing of lockdown could mean more than a million unsafe cars on UK roads, although there will still be exemptions...

MOT garage - Mercedes C-Class being tested

The Government has announced that it is cutting short the six-month coronavirus MOT extension, with conventional testing rules applying to most cars from 1 August.

When the Covid-19 lockdown was introduced, forcing many garages to close, the Government decided to extend the MOT certificates of cars due to be tested between 30 March 2020 and 29 March 2021, making them valid for 18 months rather than the usual 12. However, this will now only apply to cars which were originally due to be tested before 1 August.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said: As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

The change comes after motoring organisations expressed concerns that the easing of lockdown restrictions and the subsequent increase in traffic could mean many more unsafe vehicles on UK roads.

Figures obtained by from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show that only 2.1 million MOTs were carried out in April and May of this year, compared with 7.1 million over the same period in 2019.

DVSA figures also show that on average one third of vehicles fail their MOT on first inspection, suggesting that around 1.6 million unsafe cars could now have valid MOT certificates.

MOT garage sign

Many of the MOT centres that closed to protect staff and customers have now reopened, but if you are planning to take your car to one, it's advisable to discuss and agree in advance the protocols for how you will interact with staff.

There are also mobile MOT provider who can come to you to carry out the test and required work. Plus, many garages and car dealerships are already offering free collection and delivery services to customers, in order to keep cars roadworthy and stem the slump in business that’s been caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Read more: all the latest coronavirus advice for drivers >>