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Government cuts MOT extension short: what van drivers need to know

2-minute read

Anna Delves

22 July 2020

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The government has cut their MOT testing extension short, and normal MOT rules will resume from 1 August. Here's what van drivers need to know.

When lockdown started, the government extended the MOT certificates of vehicles that needed testing between 30 March 2020 and 29 March 2021, making them valid for 18 months instead of the usual 12.

However, they have since shortened the time period that this exemption applies to, and it’s now only vehicles that were due to be tested before 1 August that will be exempt.

When is my MOT due?

  • if your MOT expires on or after 1 August 2020, your certificate won’t be extended and you’ll need to book in for an MOT as you would have done before lockdown

  • if your MOT would have expired between 30 March and 31 July 2020, you still have the six month extension. For example, if your MOT was due on 10 July 2020, you won’t legally need your next MOT until 10 January 2021. This is true for both MOT renewals and vehicles that were coming up for their first MOT

  • if your MOT expiry date was on or before 29 March 2020, you’ll need to book an MOT as usual

You can still book in your MOT even if you’re eligible for the extension. The government says that more than 90 per cent of UK garages are now open, but there is likely to be a surge in test bookings.

To make sure you keep your vehicles safe and legal, the government is encouraging drivers to book their test in advance.

You can get an MOT a month less a day before your current one runs out and keep the same renewal date. For example, if your MOT is due to run out on 20 August 2020, you can get an MOT on or after 21 July 2020 and keep 20 August as your renewal date for 2021.

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Keeping safe during your MOT

Understandably, many people are concerned about interacting with people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has issued safety advice for businesses that are reopening, but it's worth talking to your garage about how they’re operating if you have any concerns.

For example, ask if your garage offers a pick-up and drop-off service if you want to minimise contact with people outside of your household.

If you’re shielding, or if you or someone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, the UK government says that you should not take your vehicle for its MOT.

When you stop self-isolating, you shouldn’t drive your vehicle if its MOT isn’t valid, unless you’re driving to a prearranged test, or you’re driving it to or from a garage for repairs.

Changes to MOT testing

In 2018 the government updated the rules for MOTs.

As of May 2018, there are four classifications your vehicle may get after its MOT:

  • dangerous
  • major
  • minor
  • pass

Minor defects replaced advisories, while major and dangerous defects cause an immediate fail. If your vehicle is classified as ‘dangerous’ you won’t be allowed to drive it – if you’re caught doing so you can get a £2,500 fine and 3 points on your license.

If you want to know more, read our full article on the updated MOT rules.

Has your MOT and vehicle been impacted by lockdown? Let us know in the comments

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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