What happens if you need an MOT during the coronavirus lockdown?

25 March 2020, 09:12 | Updated: 25 March 2020, 09:48

Will your car still need an MOT during the lockdown?
Will your car still need an MOT during the lockdown? Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Do you still need an MOT during the coronavirus lockdown? Everything we know so far about how vehicle testing is impacted by the nationwide shutdown.

On Monday the Prime Minister announced that there would be strict measures in place during in his coronavirus lockdown speech - including restricting the reasons people can leave their homes.

Motorists have already been hit with driving tests in Northern Ireland suspended from Friday for three months, while in the UK, theory tests are suspended for one month, and driving tests are suspended for up to 3 months due to coronavirus - but tests are available for critical workers.

Read more: Can you drive during the coronavirus UK lockdown?

But the lockdown has left many people asking if they still need an MOT test and if the testing centres are still open.

As with many decisions at the moment, the situation is changing quickly but here’s what we know at the moment.

Read more: Coronavirus symptoms - What are they and what is the risk of Covid-19 in the UK?

Are MOTs cancelled?

Vehicle owners in Britain will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

All cars, vans and motorcycles will be exempted from needing a test from March 30.

This will allow people to carry on with essential travel during the coronavirus pandemic, the DfT said.

This means if your vehicle's MOT is close to expiring then you will not need to arrange to have a test carried out, and you will be able to drive on the roads providing your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.

Drivers were warned that vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition.

Garages will remain open for essential repair work.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat Covid-19 are able to do so.

"Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine.

"Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work."

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How to have an MOT carried out during lockdown?

There is no need, garages will remain open for essential maintenance only.

Read more: How long does Covid-19 live on surfaces, and is it safe to get overseas post?

What will happen now MOTs are cancelled?

Now the Government has made the decision to suspend all MOTs it will bring in an exemption certificate system to cover vehicles with an expired MOT.

This is what the DVSA did when HGV, trailer and PSV testing was suspended. The body announced that vehicles with an MOT due to expire during the suspension will be issued with a three-month certificate of exemption (CTE) until further notice.

Paper certificates will not be re-issued but digital records will be amended so that vehicles can continue to operate.

A similar approach will be applied to cars, vans and bikes.

The DVSA warned that all vehicles operating on the roads must still be in a roadworthy condition.

Read more: Who is a key worker and what children are classed as vulnerable in UK school closures?

What if my MOT has already expired?

If your car does not currently have a valid MOT, even if you missed the test because you were self-isolating, you cannot legally drive it. You either need to get it tested or make a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN).

You can check your car’s MOT status, including when it expires, via the DVSA website.

Read more: Coronavirus and pregnant women: What is the official government advice?

Again, if you have any of the symptoms of COVID19 or are already self-isolating you must not take your vehicle to be tested.

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