MoT testing to resume in August

MoT test for a motorbike
MoT test for a motorbike

The Department for Transport (DfT) has today (June 29) announced that MoT tests are to resume on Saturday, August 1.

Back in March the DfT announced the MoT certificates were to be extended by six months, negating the need for a test in a bid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. That extension remains for existing certificates, and any due to expire up to July 31, however any vehicles with certificates due to expire after that date are required to be tested.

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"As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe," says Road’s Minister Baroness Vere. "That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory. Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can."

As part of the announcement, the DfT pointed out that testing capacity has already reached 70% of pre-coronavirus levels and is increasing. The DfT was also keen to add that despite the extension, vehicle owners must still ensure their vehicles are roadworthy and if you’re unsure, you should book it into a garage. Vulnerable vehicle owners, or those self-isolating, should enquire with their local garage about pick-up and drop-off services.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) also added that it has issued guidance to MOT testers about conducting tests safely and in line with the latest government advice.

Coronavirus and motorcycling: MoT extension granted

First published on March 27 2020 by Ben Clarke

Grant Shapps MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, has granted an MoT exemption of six months but only if your MoT expires after March 30.

All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MoT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March 2020. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

"We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat Covid-19 are able to do so," said Mr Shapps.

"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."

Will the MoT extension affect my insurance, tax or breakdown cover?

In a word, no. What the Government has done is move the MoT due date of vehicles due to expire from March 30 back by six months. This means the MoT won’t technically expire for those vehicles at all and they can be taxed as usual too. If in doubt, use the DVLA’s checker service by putting in your registration to see if your new date is active.

In the same way, as far as the system is concerned, your car will have a valid MoT and so breakdown cover and insurance will be unaffected. Just keep in mind that you have a legal obligation to make sure your vehicle is safe to be on the road.

The DfT has also made it clear that you must not drive to an MoT test centre if you are self isolating because you have symptos of coronavirus.

What the DVSA said before

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) updated their guidance for motorbike MoT tests during the Covid-19 pandemic on March 24. And if your MoT has already expired, that advice still stands. You can not ride a motorbike without a valid MoT (unless you are on your way to a booked test) if the MoT has already expired.

"People should stay at home and avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons you should leave your house are set out in the government guidance," they said in a statement.

"The Department for Transport is urgently looking at MOT testing for cars, motorcycles and light vans in light of the current situation and will provide an update shortly. Annual tests for lorries, buses and trailers have already been suspended for up to 3 months."

This is an update on earlier guidance in which they said: "The Department for Transport continues to keep MoT testing for cars, motorcycles and light vans under review. It will provide an update in due course."

Garages are currently on the exemption list for businesses that must close following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s update on Monday, March 23. If in doubt, contact your local MoT test centre.

Advice is changing all the time throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and we’ll keep this page up to date as the situation develops.

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.