MOT Rules And Extensions During Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The world came to a standstill in March when the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. With no foreseen and calculated depth of the issue, everyone was left stranded and in the middle of something. Overnight, a lockdown was announced, factories were closed, and baring the essential services, the entire United Kingdom rushed indoors to keep themselves and others safe.
The suddenness was unimaginable, but this left a swarm of vehicle owners confused about their due MOT and tax. While Britain law makes it compulsory to have an updated and passed MOT certificate for the car, social distancing and isolating made it very difficult.
During the initial days of the lockdown, the Government decided to extend the MOT certificates of cars due to be tested before 29th March. The six-month extension brought relief to the families who depend on using their car for grocery shopping and essential items. The Secretary of State for Transport tweeted about the extension bringing relief to millions of drivers in the country.
However, the tweet also asked to keep the cars in a driveable and roadworthy condition. If you would be violating the rules, a fine of £2,500 is imposed, or you can be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
The six-month extension was granted without any paperwork by the driver. A week before the MOT is due, the website will update the date and give you the chance to get it done after six-months. You can show the online record to the police if asked. The ease was appreciated, but on the downside, the UK had more 5 million cars without proper MOT.
Comparing the number of MOT done in April and May a year ago with the 2020 figures, there was a 70 per cent decline ( from 7.2 million to just 2.2 million). This huge gap concerned a lot of drivers who stepped out for their essential services. Even though garages and car service centres were allowed to operate in the lockdown, the declining numbers were worrisome.
The number of unsafe cars and the easing of the lockdown restrictions required the government to rethink its decision on MOT extension. It was recently announced that the government is cutting short the six-month coronavirus MOT extension, with conventional testing rules applying to most cars from 1 August. This means, if your MOT is due before 1st August, you are still eligible for the six-month exemption.
AA president Edmund King said: “It makes sense to reintroduce MOT testing from 1 August now that Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted and all garages and dealerships are open.
If your MOT is due after August, I would suggest you find a reliable car service centre and get it done. Make sure they follow the social distancing norms and guarantee to give your car the same precautionary care. High-risk and symptomatic individuals are requested to stay indoors.
How do I check my MOT extension?
The MOT extension was being applied automatically which means yours probably got updated without notice. To check the extension, log on to the government history portal to have a look at the MOT dates. Keep in mind that the MOT due date is updated a week before the original expiry date.
If you find that the due date has not been extended, email email@example.com with your MOT expiration date and number plate to do so.
How do I know if my car is in the ‘roadworthy’ condition?
Even with a valid MOT certificate, it is important to make sure your car is in a good condition which does not possess any harm to other drivers and property.
Make sure your brakes, lights, windows, windscreens, and mirrors and working properly. Regularly check the engine oil., radiator water level, brake fluid level, battery, wheel alignment, suspension, etc.
Do I need to tax my car during COVID-19?
Your road tax needs to be renewed during the lockdown if you’re using your car. You can always register it as off-road if you’re not using it. To renew the tax, your MOT expiry date has to be extended. Keep a tab on the government’s MOT extension portal and tax it as soon as it is confirmed. After August 1, you will have to get your MOT done from any service centre.
This was all the latest news from the Government regarding the MOT rules and extension during Coronavirus. Feel free to leave your questions below.