As much as the people of the UK would like for the Government to cancel the annual MOT test, they did not but instead gave them a six-month extension in light of the Coronavirus. The DVSA has not officially cancelled MOTs, but the Department for Transport has announced that all light vehicles, which include cars, bikes, and vans are due for an MOT on or after 30th March to 31st July were granted an automatic six-month exemption without testing. If their MOT licence expired in this time frame, they would receive an automatic six-month extension, and their online records would be updated to reflect the same.
Vehicles with expired MOT tests before 30th March were, on the other hand, not allowed to ply on the roads unless they cleared their test. While vehicles were temporarily exempt from going through the test, they still had to follow the basic rules of being safe and roadworthy. Post the expiration of the exemption all vehicles will have to get tested for their MOT test.
Furthermore, garages are classified as essential services and are allowed to remain open to carry out MOTs and essential repairs, so you should be able to get an MOT if your vehicle requires one. The primary intension of the extension is to reduce the number of people going through the process during a pandemic when everyone should be staying home, unless necessary. Everything considered, June still saw about 1.6 million vehicle owners come out to get their vehicles MOT tested. Other reasons include having the understaffed offices in a position to assist the front line workers and other essential services during the pandemic.
Many garages and online maintenance services have introduced ways to provide tests while reducing the risks to their staff and customers. They are using multiple options, including the zero-contact handover of vehicles, along with special cleaning precautions. If applicants check MOT online, some garages are willing to come over, pick up the vehicle, get it tested and drop it off, after making sure that it has been properly sterilised.
If people have any of the symptoms of COVID19, are already self-isolating, or classified as vulnerable to the virus, they should not take their vehicle for the test, and the DFT is working to ensure that they aren’t unfairly penalised.
What are the next steps for vehicle owners who missed their MOT test?
If a car does not currently have a valid MOT, even if the owners missed the test because they were self-isolating, it cannot legally be on the streets. The only exception to this is if the car expired within the extension period, or they have to get it through the MOT test before driving it again. The other alternative is making a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN).
Vehicle owners can check MOT online including when it expires through the DVSA website, and they can even book MOT tests and checks so they would be informed of an available date to take their car in.