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Mandatory MOT tests start again from August

The government announced on the 29th June 2020 that the previous MOT extension granted to car owners would be coming to an end in August. This means that any MOTs due in August will not benefit from the 6-month extension while those due between 30th March and 31st July will still receive the extension.

What is the MOT extension for coronavirus?

Back in March 2020, the UK government announced that vehicle owners would be granted a 6-month exemption for MOT testing due to MOT testing centres being closed. This 6-month exemption came into effect from the 30th March, meaning if you require an MOT from this point onwards, you could add 6 months to the due date. For example, if you were due an MOT on 3rd April 2020 you would need to get your MOT by 3rd October 2020.

The condition of this exemption was that vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition. This meant tyres still needed to be within the legal limit as well as the usual MOT criteria of lights working, windscreen wipers etc.

This extension is still in place, however, is only applicable if a vehicle requires an MOT between 30th March 2020 and 31st July 2020.

Why has the MOT extension period been cut short?

Due to the easing of lockdown restrictions, our roads are becoming busier with those travelling to work and for recreation purposes increasing. For these reasons, the government needs to make sure all vehicles are roadworthy and with MOT testing centres and car garages now reopening it will be easier for motorists to get an MOT.

Should I wait or get an MOT anyway?

Those that require an MOT between 30th March and 31st July have the option of leaving the MOT 6 months from the date it is due. However, this does not automatically mean that the vehicle you are driving is safe to drive for another 6 months.

If you are eligible for the exemption we strongly recommend that you check your vehicle to make sure it is roadworthy. Common failures of MOT testing are:

  • Low tyre tread (must no lower than 1.6mm but the recommended depth is at least 3mm)
  • Damaged windscreen wipers
  • Lights not working

All of these are important to check and could save your life. We recommended checking these regularly anyway so that any issues can be found and corrected swiftly.

If there are any unusual noises or drivability issues, we strongly recommend going to a garage for these to be looked at by a professional. There could be a mechanical problem that will require fixing regardless of the MOT exemption.

August MOT testing

In August we predict there will be an increase in MOT tests across the UK due to the exemption ending. To be ready for your MOT test we suggest checking your tyres before your MOT test is due and booking to have new tyres fitted.

Replacing tyres before your MOT has several advantages:

  • Time to shop around and find the right tyres for your vehicle
  • Save money by ordering tyres and fitting online
  • Increase the chances of passing your MOT first time, saving time and money

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