Do I still need to get an MOT for my van during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • In short, no – from the end of the month
  • All vans exempted from MOT for six months from 30 March
  • Keyworkers should be prioritised, so ask if you are one

The government has suspended MOTs for all vehicles up to three months as part of its response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, with the requirement for an MOT test being exempted by six months from 30 March.

All vans and pickups that usually would require an MOT test will be exempted, however, all vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and some service centres will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can, however, still be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

Introduced on 30 March, the new legislation will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation. So if your van needs an MOT before 30 March, you are still going to need to get it done to stay legal on the road. Pickups also need to maintain their MOT status.

My van needs an MOT and I can’t get one – what should I do?

A lot of MOT test centres are very busy at the moment, but they are also being encouraged to prioritise key workers. If you are one of these (and there’s quite an extensive list; see the guidance supplied to the schools by the Department for Education) you should speak to your local test centres to see if they can fit you in.

Van and pickup MOT info during COVID-19 pandemic - tester inspecting

If you don’t qualify as a key worker you may just have to wait. The government is absolutely clear in its instructions that non-essential travel should not be taking place right now.

Should I attend an MOT test if I am feeling unwell?

If you’ve got symptoms associated with COVID-19, you should be self-isolating for a period of at least 14 days. You most definitely should not be attending an MOT test.

What should I do if my van MOT has expired and I’m self-isolating?

After 30 March, this will fall under the six-month exemption, so as long as your vehicle is roadworthy, you will be okay to use it, or keep it parked on the road. However, if you're self-isolating, the government advice is to stay indoors and minimise contact with others. So, any form of driving should not be undertaken to help prevent the spread of the virus.

What happens if you're caught without a valid MOT?

You can be fined - up to a maximum of £2,500.

This can be appealed, however, so under the circumstances, if you think you've got COVID-19 symptoms it's probably best not to risk infecting anyone else just for the sake of an MOT test. Especially as you're supposed to be self-isolating.

So which tests have been suspended?

In addition to MOT testing for heavy vehicles, the government has also suspended all forms of driving tests (car, motorcycle, lorry, coach and bus, plus Approved Driving Instructor tests and checks) – with exceptions only for key workers. This doesn’t mean you can drive without having passed your test. It means you cannot currently take one.

Van and pickup MOT info during COVID-19 pandemic - heavy vehicle MOTs suspended

Similarly, Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA), Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) and the Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) required by vehicles that carry more than eight passengers for profit tests are also all suspended.

Also read:

>> Coronavirus COVID-19 advice for van and pickup drivers

>> Nine tips to keep your van in working order

>> Are van dealers and service centres still open during the COVID-19 pandemic?

>> What to do if you need a payment holiday on your van or pickup finance

>> Van and pickup warranty advice during the coronavirus pandemic