Coronavirus lockdown has led to the suspension of many normal activities across the UK – with motorists among those affected as driving tests and other services are put on hold.
With the country slowly relaxing some of the measures, car showrooms have begun to re-open their doors with social distancing in place, as parts of the motoring industry return to normal.
But it’s also raised the question of whether your existing vehicle needs to have an MOT – and whether or not expiry dates for this have been extended.
Just what is going on on that front?
When is my MOT due?
If your car is new, you need to have an MOT done by the third year of its registration.
An MOT is carried out to make sure it meets the legal standards for being roadworthy.
You can use the government’s website to check the MOT status of a vehicle and when that status is due to expire.
Have MOT expiry dates been extended?
Due to the coronavirus pandemic MOT expiry dates have been extended by six months for all cars, vans or motorcycles which were due for MOT on or after 30 March 2020.
This applies if your vehicle is a car, motorcycle, light van or other light vehicle (a full list of relevant vehicles is available here)
The extension also applies to vehicles which are due their first MOT test on or after that date.
If your MOT was due on or before 29 March 2020 you should still go ahead and book an MOT test as usual unless you or someone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, or you are in the extremely clinically vulnerable category.
In that instance you should not take your car to the MOT test centre – the Department for Transport has said it is working with the police to ensure those affected by Covid-19 are not penalised for having an out of date MOT.
If you cannot get your MOT certificate because you are self-isolating or shielding, you should register your vehicle as off the road (SORN) until you can do so.
Once you are no longer self-isolating or shielding you can take your vehicle to the MOT test centre, but you should not drive it before this time.
You can then tax your vehicle after it has had its test – but you will only need to do this if you registered it as SORN – while you will be sent an online copy of the test certificate rather than given the certificate, in order to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.