MOT extension: More than a million unsafe cars on the road

Published:  22 May, 2020

 There could be more than a million unroadworthy vehicles hitting the road due to the MOT extension it has been projected, with 49% of drivers covered by the extension waiting for the extension to end before they get a test for their car.

Analysing its own statistics, along with DVSA data, Kwik Fit has estimated 1,096,000 vehicles which have received a six-month MOT extension would have failed a test with dangerous or major defects had they undergone a MOT. Of these unroadworthy vehicles, it is estimated that some 316,000 would have dangerous defects, while the remaining 780,000 vehicles would fail with major defects.

As a result of the MOT extension, just 24% of vehicles due a test in the period beginning 30 March have actually received a MOT. 

A survey of 2,000 people performed for Kwik Fit also found that 49% of drivers whose cars fall within the MOT extension will wait until the end of the extension before getting their car tested

8% of those who will wait for the end of the extension to get their car tested, some 1.1 million drivers, said they will do so as they believe there is something wrong with their car and don’t want to risk it failing.  . According to the survey, 71% would like the government to end the MOT extension now.  A third of drivers (31%) in Kwik Fit’s study said they want the extension to be stopped immediately, with a further 19% saying when traffic gets to a quarter of normal levels and 20% saying when it gets to half the usual volume. 

Government data shows that traffic returned to 50% of normal levels on 15 May

Roger Griggs, Communications Director at Kwik Fit, said: “The extension has been very helpful to drivers during the lockdown, but as COVID-19 prevention measures begin to ease we urge the government to remove the automatic extension in order to prevent dangerous and illegal cars taking to the roads unchecked.”

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