With the Coronavirus epidemic and the lockdown that followed, everyone in the UK had to make numerous adjustments.
What is the Coronavirus MOT Extension?
For example, if your vehicle’s MOT was due on or after 30 March 2020, the government gave you a six month extension on your MOT expiry date. The only stipulation was that you must keep your vehicle safe to drive until your next MOT test.
How Does the Coronavirus MOT Extension Work?
Let’s take a look at how the extension worked:
- If your MOT was due on or after 30 March 2020, you’d have a valid MOT certificate for an extra six months.
- During your MOT Coronavirus Extension, you can still tax your vehicle. Head here for more information about car tax and MOT extensions.
- Your car insurance will still be valid for the duration of the MOT extension.
- The government will automatically update your vehicle’s record. That way, if the police check your vehicle, they’ll see that you still have a valid MOT.
When Does the Coronavirus MOT Extension End?
The government has since announced MOT tests will become compulsory again from 1 August. This cuts-short the six-month test exemption period. So you might be wondering what happens next with your MOT.
Is My MOT Due Soon?
At the end of June, the government announced an end to the MOT extension. From 1 August, MOTs will become compulsory again. If your car, van or motorcycle is due for an MOT test from 1 August, you’ll have a legal obligation to book a test and get a test certificate.
If your MOT due date is before 1 August, you can still get a six month exemption from testing. However, you can get a test sooner if you want. And you certainly should arrange a test as early as you can – particularly if you notice something wrong with your car.
So when’s your next MOT due? Just head to the government’s MOT site and you can check when your MOT expires, and arrange a new MOT. Yon here you can also set up text reminders for when your MOT is due so you’ll never forget.
How to Ensure Your Vehicle is Safe to Drive
The government granted these MOT coronavirus extensions on the understanding that all drivers will ensure their vehicles remain safe to drive. Just because you’ve got an MOT extension, it’s no excuse to let your standards slip!
Again, you can get guidance on just what “safe to drive” means on the government’s MOT hub. But let’s take a quick look at keeping your vehicle safe:
- Keep your windscreen, windows and mirrors clean. Sort out any chips or cracks as soon as they appear.
- Make sure all your lights work, and adjust them so that they don’t dazzle other drivers.
- Test your brakes regularly.
- Check your tyres for signs of wear and tear.
- Check your engine oil, radiator water levels, brake fluid levels, windscreen washer, and battery charge. Your vehicle’s handbook should give you more information on how often to check these things.
Fines for Driving an Unsafe Car
The penalties for driving a car in an unsafe condition are harsh. They include fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points. You might even get a driving ban.
If your rescheduled MOT’s fast-approaching, it might be a good idea to book your car in for a service as soon as possible. The government claims that 90% of UK garages have already reopened, and testing capacities are apparently already at 70% of their pre-lockdown levels. So you should have no problem ensuring that everything’s in full working order.
And why not do you own simple and essential checks before your car goes in for its MOT. After all replacing bulbs, wipers & fluid yourself will save you ending up paying the garage to do it. As a young driver it is useful to familiarise yourself with how to do these.
Other Things to Check
Your car insurance will still be valid for the duration of the MOT extension. But if you make any modifications to your car to make it safer for the road, it may affect the price of your premium. For more information, please check your policy wording.