Mandatory MOT testing reintroduced from 1 August

Published:  29 June, 2020

Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted, Roads Minister Baroness Vere has announced today (Monday 29 June).

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for a MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

Drivers with a MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a six-month exemption from testing. However, people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement.

 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.

She added: “Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

At present, more 90% are open nationwide. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing. The DVSA has also issued guidance to all MOT testers about safely conducting tests in line with the latest government advice.

Many organisations across the sector, including the GEA, IAAF, IGA, IMI  and others had been calling for the extension to be cancelled as soon as possible.

Welcoming the development, IAAF Chief Executive Wendy Williamson said: “The entire automotive aftermarket needs this news and it will have a positive effect on many businesses. As people begin to head back to work, the number of cars on the road will inevitably rise, with more people set to avoid public transport and rely instead on personal mobility.”

The IAAF is now urging the industry to encourage drivers who have previously made the decision to extend their MOT to bring their vehicle in as soon as possible.

 “We’ve already been hearing from members who have experienced concerning issues first-hand, whereby customers have been driving around in vehicles that are a threat to the safety of the driver and the general public.

“Most importantly, this move will reduce the number of motorists driving un-roadworthy vehicles and will benefit the aftermarket as more cars are brought in for essential testing, service and repairs.”

IGA Chief Executive Stuart James said: “We thank the government for listening to our views. The news will give clarity to garages and allow them to plan for the busy period ahead.

“This is a welcome retraction of a policy doubtless designed to provide relief to motorists. However, this additional month will allow at least 1 million unroadworthy cars to remain on the road for an additional six months, as well as the 1.6 million dangerous vehicles that have already had their MOT extended. “With road traffic increasing, people being encouraged to use their cars rather than public transport, and further lockdown measures easing on 4 July, we believe this additional month will leave a number of motorists with an accumulation of faults and repair costs when they are least able to afford them. Even though this scheme has only been in place for four months, it has been detrimental to the roadworthiness of many cars, taken away the bread and butter of the independent garage sector and left a great number of consumers confused.”

 “We will continue to work with Government departments and support independent garages to ensure that all safety measures are upheld, playing our part to prevent further coronavirus cases across the UK.”

IMI CEO Steve Nash added: “The exemption from mandatory MOT testing announced at the end of March made sense at that time, but our sector moved very quickly to ensure it could work safely and support motorists during the lockdown. It’s welcome, therefore, that the government has announced the reintroduction of mandatory MOT testing from 1 August.

“The risks of the exemption were increasing exponentially the longer it went on. The MOT on millions of vehicles has already expired, which means even the most basic checks haven’t been done, with claims  that more than a million vehicles due for their MOT since lockdown are likely to have failed.

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