Coronavirus (COVID-19): MoT tests exempted during pandemic

MoT testing continues on cars during COVID-19 pandemic

Vehicle owners will be granted a six-month exemption from MoT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities during the Coronavirus 'lockdown'.

All cars, vans and motorcycles which would require an MoT test after 30 March 2020 will effectively have a six month extension on the expiry date, though if restrictions are lifted this may change to ensure cars are roadworthy. Although this is an exemption, it does not permit cars that haven't had an MoT to return to the road without one.

Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can still be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles, so try and keep your car in the best order you can.

The new legislation will be introduced on 30 March and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested before the new regulations come into force if they need to use it or keep it parked on the public highway, and the MoT runs out before 30 March. This also applies to three-year old cars due their first MoT and registered before 1 April 2017.

If you can’t get an MoT that’s due because you’re in self-isolation, the Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to ensure people aren’t unfairly penalised for things out of their control.

Other tests have been suspended, meaning specialist vehicle testing will not be possible for the next three months and those vehicles must not be used on the road until then.

A government spokesperson confirmed: 'The suspension applies to all types of vehicle approval tests, including individual vehicle approval (IVA), motorcycle single vehicle approval (MSVA) and the certificate of initial fitness (COIF) - this is a test for vehicles with more than eight passenger seats used to transport people for profit.'

This will affect conversions, damaged-repaired cars, kit cars and imports primarily, and vehicles essential for emergency services can be tested during the suspension.

What this means for you

If you're a key worker you can use your car now without worrying about being prosecuted for a lapsed MoT. This is a very sensible move from the government, which recognises that many people will need to keep mobile in the coming weeks.

Do, however, keep an eye on your tyres, brakes and other essential safety systems. Car manufacturers and other large serving companies have confirmed they will keep some centres open, prioritising key workers' cars.

>> Read more: COVID-19 pandemic advice for drivers
>> Read more: What car manufacturers are staying open for MoTs

MoT testing continues on cars during COVID-19 pandemic