Vehicle owners with a MOT expiry date between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 were given a 6 month extension. This measure was designed to help motorists as the Coronavirus pandemic began to take hold. Mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales were reintroduced from 1 August 2020. This means that any driver whose vehicle is due for an MOT test from 1 August 2020 is required to get a test certificate as normal in order to continue driving their vehicle.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has issued a timely press release encouraging drivers whose MOT is due this autumn to get their vehicle’s MOT done as soon as possible in order to beat the expected rush for tests. This is because vehicles that were given an extension and those that would normally be due their MOT will both need to be tested.
The DVSA is predicting that September, October and November 2020 are likely to be very busy months for MOT centres. If your MOT is due in September, you can get it done in August (up to a month minus a day before its due) and keep your renewal date. You cannot use your vehicle if your MOT runs out and there are fines of up to £1,000 for driving without a valid MOT.
It is also important to remember that vehicles must be kept roadworthy even if the MOT date has been extended. If you are not using your car, you can register your vehicle as off the road by obtaining a statutory off road notification (SORN). This will see any remaining full months of vehicle tax refunded and you could also look into cancelling your car insurance (with a SORN). The rules are different in Northern Ireland where a phased return to MOT testing is underway.