Owners of cars, motorcycles and vans will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing in response to the Coronavirus crisis.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that any vehicle with an MOT due after 30th March will be eligible for the extension, though motorists can still be prosecuted if they’re caught driving a car in an unsafe condition.
The new measures have been brought forward in response to government guidance that people should stay at home and avoid all unessential travel – including driving their cars.
The DfT has confirmed that the measures will be in place for the next 12 months, allowing people to stay in isolation and minimise the risk of spreading the disease.
Edmund King, AA President, commented on the announcement: “With partial lockdown on the horizon, the AA raised concerns about MOTs with transport ministers last week, as many drivers were anxious about their MOT running out whilst in self-isolation.
“We’re glad they’ve listened and provided a sensible solution.
“Drivers should only use their cars for essential journeys throughout the lockdown and must ensure they keep their car in a good condition.”
While eligible drivers may not need to take their vehicles in for testing, the DfT has warned that those found driving unsafe vehicles can still be prosecuted.
Under UK law, motorists can be fined up to £2,500, receive three penalty points and be banned from the road for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
However, the DfT has promised to work with insurers and the police to “ensure people aren’t unfairly penalised for things out of their control”.
Drivers should continue to keep their cars, vans and motorbikes in a roadworthy condition, with garages currently remaining open for essential repair work.
Need to go out for essential goods? Here’s our top 10 checks to keep your car roadworthy.