Coronavirus: Government to review MoT testing for cars during outbreak

Published 21 March 2020

MoT testing for cars is to be extended by six months in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The Government has already suspended the annual roadworthiness test for heavy goods vehicles, buses and trailers.

Now the Department for Transport could issue similar guidance for cars, motorcycles and light vans, with all MoTs being given an automatic extendion from 30 March


Check your car's MOT history

The news of the review comes after the Driver and Vehicle Services Agency (DVSA) said it was suspending MoTs for all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and public service vehicles (PSVs) for up to three months from today, Saturday 21 March.

It means that all HGV and PSV vehicles with an existing MOT will be issued with a three-month certificate of temporary exemption (CTE) until further notice.

But a spokesman stressed: “Vehicles must be maintained, kept safe to drive and operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions.”

Classic cars are already exempt from the annual test. Cars more than 40 years old that haven’t been substantially altered do not have to inspected every 12 months.

That means more than half-a-million vehicles do not require a test certificate – although many historic vehicle enthusiasts do still submit their car for annual testing.

But drivers must make sure their historic vehicles are roadworthy or risk invalidating their insurance.

New vehicles only require an MoT test when they are three years old, but the Government has previously considered extending this to four years with annual MoT tests taking place every two years.

Coronavirus: Advice on buying, running and owning a car during the outbreak


Jez Cottrill    on 21 March 2020

Does this include the classification of Private HGVs which would include my 4 ton motorhome?

   on 21 March 2020

I think dvsa have lost there marbles we have some of the safest roads in the world and they want to b***** it up. As an mot tester Ive seen my fair share of knackered vehicles that are less then 3 yrs old needing tyres brakes and suspension last a lot longer but still wear out moving and friction parts. My friend is a truck driver and does 2k miles a week and they want to stop testing hgvs......MADNESS.
Mot equipment updates are coming with a cost of between 40-60k pounds to the garage owner. no increase in the annual test fee in 10yrs, no grant from dvsa towards the forthcoming updates. Its no wonder ive just sold my test station. These changes plus the added pressure of forced closure due to the coronavirus i feel the general public should actually see how much of a shambles the system is. Imo this will the beginning of a lot of test stations giving there site licence up.

Regards one very dissalougened mot tester.

Peteleplant    on 22 March 2020

And l bet over the years you have made a very good living out of the poor motorists and sold your garage business for a substantial amount so stop your complaining.The mot in France is for 2 years plus if it fails you get an extension of 2 months to fix it that would be a better way to run things here.An MOT station here is a licence to print money for garage owners.

Christhedoc    on 22 March 2020

Peteleplant, you have no clue, MOT is not a licence to print money at all, most stations charge on average about £45 for a mot then take off the fee for the test then paying a tester then pay for the equipment then pay rent/Morgage then pay business rates where applicable then pay for electricity then pay for insurance then consumables ect how much do you think will be left after that?! Any way rant over.

Not your buisness    on 22 March 2020

All a load of bull.... The goverment tell us that we need a valid M. O. T to be able to drive our cars on the roads. Absolute crap because for starters the roads are not even road worthy for our cars to drive on. The roads are absolutely disgusting with nothing but pothole after pothole. My car was damaged from hitting a pothole and it cost me money to put right. The goverment pinch our money to pay for a stupid mot but don't give a s***e about the roads. My argument is is that if we have to pay this money pinching goverment to drive our cars on the roads then before you pinch our hard earned money fix the roads so that our cars are safe to drive on. Otherwise shove your mot up your a***. And stop taking our money. Your system is corrupt and fraudelent and to be honest I don't blame people who drive about with no tax and mot. Fix the roads and maybe people might not feel so hard done by

Dan Johns    on 24 March 2020

Post deleted - reported as offensive.

Edited by Avant on 24/03/2020 at 15:44

   on 22 March 2020

as an owner of a mobile mechanic business i may not do mots myself, but if you see what i see day in, day out you would understand that most (not neccessarily all) drivers have no sense or feel as to when a car is safe to drive and this is where the mot comes in. its not perfect but it could potential save alot of lives. some people will simply drive a car until the wheels fall off. if you neglect a modern car be ready to get an expensive repair bill or have the car written off. because these modern car arent as tough as an old mercedes diesel from the mid 80s!

   on 22 March 2020

Well I also have to agree with you.
As an independent garage I am a one man band, I find the average vehicle that comes through my workshop for servicing or mot repairs need some work to keep them in a road worthy condition.
What I am seeing is a lot of people wanting and buying the top end of the second hand car market, as a example , bmw .Audi. Mercedes and the like.
But in truth, they can't afford to run them .you can pay up to £1,000 for a set of tyres, lets face it who can afford that, i couldn't so i don't have one .the point i am making is for example you have a 140 mph vehicle / missile riding around on bald tyres because they can't afford to replace them.
That's fine until someone kills somebody.
We have to have mot tests to try and keep the rest of us hopefully safe on the road.

AndrewG1323    on 22 March 2020

The way I see it is this

You give everyone say a 2 month exemption

1 - what happens when someone is killed by an unsafe vehicle

2 - what happens when we go back and have to fit 2 maybe 3 months MOTs inside a month

3 - what happens next April when there’s absolutely no work about due to this hole in the system

Darren Bentley    on 22 March 2020

As a mot tester for over 10yrs there isn't a week goes by that I don't test a vehicle that has a fault that is a accident waiting to happen. As for the condition of the roads what does that have to do with the mot if anything it makes it even more important to have a yearly check to correct the faults from the road damage. If u can't afford £45 a year to keep the public safe then get a bus or train. If it is costing u more than just the cost of the mot test because of repairs then that is because the government deem it to be unsafe and only backs up the need for yearly inspections.

   on 23 March 2020

Im an mot tester the things i have seen have shocked me out in this trade most people dont know if there car is roadworthy or not there understanding is when it dont start or move then its a problem i have seen wheels about to fall off so many wrong things i have seen with vehicles vosa cant shut us down we help people

   on 23 March 2020

I test Vehicles every day, my concern is the disgraceful conditions you see cars in. We have the ability to refuse to test, as a testers right.
Just visualise a car that’s been driven for a year, it’s been coughed in sneezed in, pre the virus I always wore gloves. People are disgusting they may think their vehicle is clean but they aren’t.

Iain..    on 23 March 2020

I'm also a tester and will confirm that car owners are oblivious to the poor condition of their cars. There is statistics taken monthly for the national average of vehicles failed on an mot and its around a third of all vehicles. You do the maths next time you're on the busy motorway.

Edited by Mr I T McGuigan on 23/03/2020 at 06:50

Odjobus    on 23 March 2020

I can see the point of mot I am a mechanic myself I do my repairs if something goes wrong I fix it even then when I go for mot they see things on the ramp that I don't for example because of pot holes in the road I have to replace a drop link every year but I don't change one damaged I change both even though one is OK daft you might say but safer you don't just change one side of your brake pads. I have been asked to fit brake pads from a car dismantlers how stupid is that its to long to go into the dangerous side of this but no way would I play with people lives .

Stub Mandrel    on 23 March 2020

Cars don't magically become dangerous every 12 months.

The annual check is only to make it easy to keep track of when a recheck is due.

A 2-3 month extension would affect only 25% of older cars and the rules on driving dangerous vehicles would not be changed.

An awareness campaign on key checks (brakes, lights and tyres) with some police spot checks on these to keep people on their toes might actually save lives.

   on 23 March 2020

well said.I suspect the "MOT TESTERS" complaining about the poor conditions of the cars they see are maybe the testers that heavily discount the MOT price,99% of the cars we test need only minor repairs and we test approx 210 cars a month.

   on 23 March 2020

Are MOT stations to remain open during this lockdown as you have said we are essential

ROBBIENUD    on 23 March 2020

My cars MOT is due in early March, the annual service in September. I take it to my dealer and ask him to pre MOT it, fix any faults and get it tested. In September I take it to him for its service and ask him to check everything and replace what is needed. Result, never failed a test, never let me down, is in excellent condition and still nice to use. Costs about 200; pounds a year plus bits. One set of tyres, one got damaged on a pothole but decided replace the lot. One set of wiper blades. One battery, my own fault as I left the ignition switched one and after that it did not hold a full charge.
Car is a 2012 Hyundai i30, without a doubt the best of many cars I have owned, usually changed at three years of age, hung onto this because of the five year warranty, not used I might add, and kept as I got really to like it. Spend the money wisely with w good dealer, it’s cheaper in the long run.

   on 23 March 2020

I imagine the motor trade supplying MOTs and major repairs should still be open to help keep essential transport afloat, i think big changes to health and safety in the workplace will come into effect to ensure the workers have minimal risk and to catching or spreading the virus ?????

Andrew Washington    on 23 March 2020

my annual service and MOT booked for Friday, MB dealership just e-mailed to cancel and will re-book when they are told its safe. how can i now get essentials?

Edited by Andrew Washington on 23/03/2020 at 22:20

   on 24 March 2020

My MOT & Tax run out on 31st March. The car was booked in for the test last week with my local garage, but they cancelled it as they're closing due to Covid-19. Managed to get it booked in to a local 'MrClutch' centre for this Friday, but now with this lockdown I don't know if it'll go ahead - it seems unlikely.

I don't have anywhere I can put the car off-road and SORN it, and besides it's the only way of getting to shops & hospital appointments (no there's no suitable public transport and no I can't afford mini-cabs - would they even be allowed now anyway?)

This is causing stress and worry on top of the concern about the virus. Tens of thousands of people must be in a similar situation. The Govt. needs to deal with this immediately, either creating some kind of MOT amnesty & allowing cars to be taxed and legally driven/insured with a recently expired MOT until the emergency is over, or by making an exception to allow testing stations to stay open.

At the moment we will be forced to break the law, risk a fine, and will have invalid insurance, but have no way of doing anything about it. Does anyone know if any measures have been planned/announced?

aethelwulf    on 24 March 2020

My view is not to use a MOT tester hat is attached ti a garage as
you are asking for repair bills loud and clear. Go to an independent tester with impartial advice. Obviously it is important to ensure your vehicle is satisfactory at all time. There are is a self checks that are simple in many cases. My recent failure was headlamp adjustment. How did that occur? No idea as I have not meddled with it since new. Tester amended for free but it counts as a fail. Doesn't bother me though but not life and death as I rarely go out at night when the loonies are out.
Find a reliable independent tester. But take their advice.

   on 24 March 2020

You can always go to a council run MOT centre or VOSA with your car, they are not after doing repairs so completely fair, you will pay full price though.

JimboGlos    on 24 March 2020

My MOT (and service) was booked for this Thursday and I was rung by the dealership this morning (Tuesday) to say it’s been cancelled and not to worry as the government have extended MOTs for three months on cars. However, no sign of that extension for cars anywhere online. When I rang back they admitted that they had misled me, but they were now closing the garage for MOTs due to Covid. Can’t find another local garage to carry out the MOT at short notice, so my work will be stuffed after the end of the month unless the gov come up with something. Not to keen on using that dealership again either as they have deliberately lied to me about this.

dervdave    on 24 March 2020

Can`t tax without an MOT

   on 25 March 2020

I am a key worker, so is my wife. Our car has just failed the MOT, but only on emissions. Everything else is fine, 4 new tyres etc. We need to drive to work, but now worried we’ll be doing it illegally.,...

   on 25 March 2020

In 6 months time when a lot of mot stations have gone bust as a result of no work coming in .that is when the fast fit & all the big boys are left you will start to get a lot bigger bills plus you will have to pay full price on every thing as there will be no independent or honest test stations left then try to get an mot .road safety will suffer and moor people get killed . Is it worth taking the risk with your or somebody"s life in a car that is not safe .then you can start to complain about it .YOU SHOULD STILL HAVE IT TESTED IF YOU WHANTE A CLEAR CONSCIENCE .so stop b****ing a bout it & keep your transport safe & mot,d .if not then live with if you kill someone

   on 29 March 2020

As an owner of an MOT station, we now have no work, but the business rates exemption doesn't apply to us, nor do government grants. We can close but all our expenses remain including 20% of salaries. The government took all our business away for 6 months but provided no targeted support to get us through it. Our landlord refuses to reduce our rent. We could borrow money, but we would never be able to pay it back, we don't make enough profit. We probably won't survive this, and many other garages and MOT stations will be in the same place.

   on 6 April 2020

hi my vans mot ran out on the 29th of last month and the tax ran out on the 1st of April give me a clue as how to tax my van on the gov web site with no mot.
I have checked to see any information on my vans mot been automatically extended with no luck.
any help would be appreciated

   on 13 April 2020

Any MOT stations going BUST or if you know of one Local in Washington area
Contact me

im interested in taking on part ownership or buying the business.

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