Car MOT tests will be mandatory again in Britain from August 1, the government announced today.
Drivers due for the annual check-up between March 30 and July 31 have had their expiry date extended by six months to curb the spread of the virus.
But extensions will not apply to anyone with an MOT date after August 1, ministers announced.
That means if your car’s MOT is due up to and including July 31, you still have it automatically extended by six months and that has not changed.
But if your car, motorcycle or van’s MOT is due on August 1 or later, there is no extension policy and you should book an MOT as normal.
Some garages remained open throughout the coronavirus outbreak and MOT tests have already been happening again.
The government claims 90% of garages are now reopened and testing is at 70% of normal levels.
Ministers said despite the extension policy, “all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition” – and motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.
That means people worried about their car’s condition can get an MOT voluntarily any time they like, before the six month extension is complete.
Roger Griggs, communications director for Kwik Fit, said: “Our data has shown that for every week the extension remains in place, more than 150,000 unroadworthy vehicles are being given a free pass, with around a third of those having dangerous defects.
“It is vital for road safety that these cars receive a physical check as soon as possible.
“We urge drivers not to rely on an automatic extension, especially as everyone starts to clock up more miles as the lockdown is eased.”
However, if you want to keep the new extended renewal date for next year, you will have to get your MOT within a month of that renewal date.
MOT tests ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seat belts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order to keep people safe on the road.
AA president Edmund King said: “It makes sense to reintroduce MOT testing from 1 August 2020 now that Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted and all garages and dealerships are open.
“Car traffic is on the increase already and will grow as more drivers return to the road with the re-opening of hospitality and travel with their families for ‘staycation’ holidays.
“The extension was a pragmatic move to help drivers in self isolation but as services resume we agree that reintroducing the MOT with good advance notice will help drivers and make our roads safer.”
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe.
“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.”
Richard Rosser, Labour’s Transport Spokesman in the Lords, previously voiced his concerns to the government.
He told the Mirror: “I’m glad ministers have seen sense.
“They were warned back in May that five-million dangerous vehicles could soon be on the road. Pausing MOTs until next April would have been a disaster.”