Compulsory MOT testing for cars, vans, and motorcycles is to be reintroduced in England, Scotland, and Wales on August 1st 2020 as coronavirus restrictions continue to be lifted, the Government confirmed. But why was testing suspended in the first place, why is it being reintroduced soon, and what does it mean for your vehicle?
Mandatory MOT testing was suspended at the start of lockdown to minimise the spread of coronavirus. The policy therefore reduces the number of drivers, mechanics, and support staff that have to interact in person. Furthermore, it makes it easier to keep vehicles on the road legally which is handy at a time of national crisis. This helps doctors and nurses travel to work, for instance.
However, it appears that coronavirus is becoming a less serious threat. The Government is therefore becoming less focussed on keeping drivers, mechanics, and support staff separate and more on ensuring vehicles are roadworthy. Compulsory MOT testing is therefore being reintroduced in the near future. What this means for your vehicle depends when your current MOT certificate expires.
March 30th 2020 to July 31st 2020
If your vehicle’s MOT expires between March 30th and July 31st 2020, you still have an automatic 6 month extension. For example, July 5th 2020 is extended to January 5th 2021. However, you do not have to wait until the end of your coronavirus extension to have your vehicle checked. If you prefer, it can be done on any earlier date.
Also, irrespective of any extension it is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. If not, you might be prosecuted.
August 1st 2020 onward
If your MOT expires on/after August 1st 2020 throughout England, Scotland, and Wales there is no extension for your vehicle. Simply have it assessed according to its normal, pre-coronavirus schedule.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: ‘As people return to our roads, it is vital motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That is why, as restrictions are eased, from August 1st MOT testing will again be 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.’
The Government added further context. It said ‘only some garages remained open’ at the peak of the outbreak for ‘essential services’. However, 90% are now open and MOT testing capacity is 70%. These figures are ‘steadily increasing’. Also, if you still have to self-isolate some garages will collect and return your car.