The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we live our daily lives for the foreseeable future, with more and more people being affected every day; physically, emotionally and financially.
Thankfully, measures have been put in place to help the British public, such as mortgage payment holidays, financial schemes to help workers and social distancing has been enforced to help reduce the spread and save lives.
And one other change that has come about due to the COVID-19 pandemic is that of MOT rules, which we will explain in this article.
What is an MOT?
MOT stands for Ministry of Transport, and it is a type of test that is legally required to be carried out on vehicles that are more than 3-years-old.
An MOT tests your vehicle on its overall safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions - ensuring that it meets legal standards and is therefore safe for both the driver and other motorists on UK roads.
Do I need an MOT?
As stated on the GOV.UK website, an MOT is required by UK law, and you could face fines of up to £2,500, three penalty points on your licence or even a ban on driving altogether if you are caught driving a vehicle that is deemed to be in a "dangerous condition”.
As a UK driver, it is your responsibility to make sure that your car, van or motorcycle is safe to drive, so be sure to check the due date of your next MOT and follow the advice given here and on the GOV.UK website.
READ MORE: MOT Checklist - Everything you need to know
What are the MOT changes?
Due to the coronavirus outbreak and the impact it has had on everyone’s daily lives, MOTs that were due to expire today - 30th March 2020 - or MOTs scheduled after this date, will now be extended by 6 months.
This MOT change applies to cars, motorcycles, light vans or other light vehicles.
For example, if your MOT is due to expire on 20th April 2020, you will need to make sure you get your MOT booked in by 20th October 2020 (6 months later).
During this 6-month MOT extension, your vehicle will still have a valid MOT certificate, but you will not receive a new paper certificate showing the extended MOT date.
Do I need to do anything?
Firstly, you will need to check when your next MOT is due if you have a car, motorcycle, light van or other light vehicle. If the date is 30th March or after, you don’t need to do anything as you are automatically given the six-month extension. You can check your MOT’s extension date on the GOV.UK website here.
However, what you do need to ensure is that your vehicle is roadworthy and safe to drive, which still applies to brand-new vehicles that have yet to have their first MOT test.
If you feel that your vehicle isn’t safe to drive, do not attempt to drive it and simply contact your nearest garage to receive expert advice - the government is permitting vehicle repair garages to stay open during the crisis.
It is also important to check when your vehicle tax is due, as this must be paid as soon as the date of your MOT expiry has been updated.
If your MOT’s expiry date was on or before 29th March 2020
The above rule changes do not apply to MOTs that were due to be carried out on or before 29th March - these MOTs must still be carried out.
For vehicles that have failed their MOT test on or before 29th March, they will not be automatically given a 6-month MOT extension and they will need to be retested at the soonest possible date. As stated previously, all UK repair garages are permitted to stay open, so you should be able to book an MOT appointment without any problems.
If you have an invalid MOT certificate and do not have an automatic extension, you might have to get a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN), which declares that the vehicle is not being driven or parked on public roads, and it is currently being kept in a garage, driveway or private property.
READ MORE: What does SORN mean?
If you own a lorry, bus or trailer, different rules will apply regarding your MOT. Please read more on what to do on the GOV.UK website.
Advice from Bobatoo
It is important to remember that as well as having a valid MOT certificate, it is a legal requirement to have a car insurance policy in place, so be sure to check the expiry date of that too and make sure you're fully covered!
For further information relating to changes caused by the current coronavirus pandemic, read our related articles below, and be sure to follow us on social media to keep up-to-date with our latest content.