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Drivers given six-month MOT grace period

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Drivers can continue to use their vehicles even if their MOT has expired, the Department for Transport has confirmed.

Car, motorbike and van drivers will be given a six-month MOT exemption (from 30 March) allowing people to carry out essential journeys such as to work (frontline staff/key workers), shops to buy food or to help a vulnerable person.

However, vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted for driving unsafe vehicles.

The DfT reminds drivers of the government guidelines to stay at home and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.

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 get essential food and medicine.

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

Legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for 12 months. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into place, if they need to use it.

If you can’t get an MOT because you’re in self-isolation, the DfT is working with insurers and the police to ensure people aren’t unfairly penalised for things out of their control.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said: “In this unprecedented situation, insurers will not penalise you if you can’t get an MOT. Safety is paramount so check your brakes, tyres and lights before driving.”

The Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) suspended annual tests for heavy goods vehicles such as lorries, buses and trailers for up to three months from 21 March.

Driving tests

The following tests are suspended for three months (from 21 March): car, motorcycle, lorry, coach and bus, as well as approved driving instructor (ADI) tests and checks.

The DVSA will contact everyone with a test booked during this time to let them know their test has been cancelled and that they will be automatically re-booked for them.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “We are having to take big decisions to protect the public in our national battle against COVID-19. Regrettably, we have had to suspend driver testing for up to three months to help tackle the spread of the virus.

“It is vital that those who need a test can get one so DVSA is offering tests to those who have a critical need, such as the NHS and drivers delivering goods across the UK.”