Mandatory MOT tests to be reintroduced from 1 August
29 June 2020
Author: Sean Keywood
The MOT test exemption introduced by the UK government during the coronavirus lockdown will come to an end on 1 August, it has been announced.
From that date, the automatic six-month extension to expiring test certificates which has been applied since March will no longer be granted, meaning car, van and motorbike operators whose vehicle is due a test will need to get it carried out as normal.
Vehicles with an MOT test due before 1 August will still receive a six-month exemption. However, the Department for Transport has warned that all vehicles must still be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and that motorists can still be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.
Vehicle owners are still able to get an MOT test voluntarily inside the six-month extension if they wish.
While only some garages remained open during the height of the lockdown, now more than 90% across the country are said to be open, with MOT testing capacity currently at 70% of normal levels and steadily increasing.
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.
"Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can."
Reacting to the news, Association of Fleet Professionals co-chair Paul Hollick said he would have liked to see a more gradual transition period, and warned the MOT system could become congested.
He said: "The MOT extension created valuable breathing space at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and was very much welcome. Now, while we clearly need to start returning to business-as-usual, it would have been better to have seen more of a managed transition in order to create a softer landing.
"This does very much mean that there is considerable potential for the MOT testing system to become heavily congested and even overwhelmed, especially during September when there is likely to be a glut in demand.
"Our advice to fleet managers is to book ahead with MOT stations as soon as possible. If you can't get vehicles tested before their MOT lapses, you can't use them. It's that simple."