Coronavirus: Drivers to get six-month exemption on MOTs

Testing will be exempted from March 30 to help essential travel to continue during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cars: Drivers must keep them roadworthy. Pixabay
Cars: Drivers must keep them roadworthy.

Motorists in Britain will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, to help essential travel to continue during the coronavirus pandemic, the UK Government has announced.

From March 30, all cars, vans and motorcycles will be cleared from needing a test.

But the UK’s department for transport warned drivers that vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, providing advice as to what that entails.

Explaining how the exemption would work, the government said as an example that if your car’s MOT was due to expire on April 3 this year, it would now be extended to October 3.

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If your vehicle’s first MOT was due, it will be automatically be given a six-month exemption from that date.

If your first MOT was due before March 30 and your vehicle did not pass, you will not get an exemption and will need for your car to pass an MOT before you can drive it again.

MOT centres will remain open, the government said, as will garages so that essential repair work can continue.

You can still get an MOT if you need your vehicle to shop for basic necessities like food or medicine; for any medical need or to help a vulnerable person; or to go to work if necessary.

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Many aspects of transport are devolved to the Scottish Government, but vehicle licensing and road traffic law remain reserved to Westminster.

On Tuesday, Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson called on UK ministers to put “suitable arrangements” in place for motorists around MOTs.

UK 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 to get essential food and medicine.

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

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