Following on from the announcement back in March regarding MOT testing extensions by a six-month grace period from the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, which allowed all drivers an extension to re-book an MOT due a test from 30th March 2020.
The Transport Secretary was quoted back in March saying, “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.”
It has now just been announced that the coronavirus MOT extension will end on August 1st, 2020, and all vehicles due an MOT before that date will still get the extension, which effectively means their MOT certificate will be valid for 18 months.
The news follows recent motor trade advice about the failure rates from garages and mechanics now carrying out MOTs, their concern is the UK could potentially see over 1.5 million vehicles return to our roads not fit for purpose, which in turn, could also invalidate a private, or motor trade insurance policy. Drivers are advised to always keep their insurer up to date of any change in their circumstances or the vehicles documentation.
UK Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, announced the scheme end date by saying: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That is why as restrictions are eased, from 1st August MOT testing will again become mandatory.” She also added, “Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”
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The Independent Garage Association (IGA) warned that with the number of vehicles returning to the roads, “it is not safe for cars to remain unchecked.” Stuart James, IGA’s Chief Executive said: ““Garages are not “close proximity” venues. They have been allowed to remain open throughout the whole pandemic and are following official safe working guidelines, so the MOT exemption should be removed as soon as feasibly possible.”
Whilst Kwik Fit’s Communications Director, Roger Griggs, argued that while the extension “has been very helpful to drivers during the lockdown” mandatory testing should be reintroduced in the interests of road safety.
Even though many garages have remained open during lockdown, this is more welcome news for the motor trade sector following the recent reopening of car showrooms, after the Prime Minister’s instruction back in March that all non-essential shops should stay closed until further notice.
The end of the vehicle MOT extension is another sign of lockdown easing following the recent news that driving lessons would also be restarting soon.