Are there any special arrangements for MOTs and vehicle tax during the Covid-19 pandemic?

MOTs generally
Due to the unfolding Covid-19 situation, cars and vans and motorcycles due their MOT from 30 March 2020 will have their MOT extended by 6 months. This will continue until confirmed otherwise.

This will allow vehicle owners to continue to be able to get to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home or do essential shopping.

Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition and drivers can be prosecuted if they drive an unsafe vehicle.

The following link provides further information about MOTs due before 30 March:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-for-cars-vans-and-motorcycles-due-before-30-march-2020

The government has extended the requirement for certain businesses to close, but garages are allowed to stay open.

This is to make sure that essential vehicle maintenance and repair to keep vehicles, goods and key workers moving and safe can continue.

MOTs – which vehicles are eligible?
Your MOT certificate will be extended by 6 months if it was due to expire on or after 30 March 2020 and your vehicle is a car, motorcycle, light van or other light vehicle (please see the link below):

https://www.gov.uk/getting-an-mot/mot-test-fees

The extension also applies to these types of vehicles that are due their first MOT test on or after 30 March 2020.

MOTs – how does the extension work?
Your vehicle's MOT expiry date will be automatically extended by 6 months if it's eligible. This will be done about 7 days before it's due to expire.

This means that:

  • your vehicle will still have a valid MOT certificate for an extra 6 months
  • you can still tax your vehicle - you might need to wait to do this until later in the month if both your MOT and vehicle tax run out in the same month – see 'TAX' below
  • your insurance will still be valid
  • your vehicle's record will be updated so the police can see you have a valid MOT

You will not get a new paper MOT certificate with the new expiry date on it.

For example, your vehicle's MOT was due to expire on 3 May 2020. This will automatically be extended to 3 November 2020. You will need to get your MOT by this date.

MOT extension – what do I need to do?
Your vehicle's MOT expiry date will be updated about 7 days before it was originally due to expire.

  1. Three days before your MOT was originally due to expire, check the expiry date has been extended via the link below:

    https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

  2. If the expiry date has not been extended 3 days before it was due to expire, email [email protected] .gov.uk


You need to include these details in the email:

  • the date your MOT expired
  • your vehicle registration number (number plate)

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will then:

  • update your vehicle's record
  • email you to tell you this has been done

MOT due on or after 1 August 2020
Your MOT certificate will not be extended if your vehicle's MOT expires on or after 1 August 2020. You must book an MOT as usual.

MOT centres are open now for you to get an MOT.

You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.

For example, if your MOT runs out on 2 August, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is 3 July.

When you should not take your vehicle for its MOT
You should not take your vehicle for its MOT if either:

  • you're self-isolating as you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
  • you're being advised to shield as you are extremely vulnerable from coronavirus - there's different guidance for shielding for England, Scotland and Wales.

Some MOT centres will collect your vehicle, carry out an MOT, and return it if you're being shielded. Contact your local MOT centres to find out if they offer this service.

The Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to make sure you are not unfairly penalised for not being able to get an MOT.

MOT – keep your vehicle safe to drive
You must make sure your vehicle is safe to drive ('roadworthy'). It can be unsafe even if your MOT expiry date has been extended.

Find out:

  • The link below explains how to check your vehicle is safe

https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-safe

  • The link below explains what rules you need to follow to maintain your vehicle

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/annex-6-vehicle-maintenance-safety-and-security#vehiclemain

If you take your vehicle for its MOT and it fails
Your MOT extension will no longer apply if you take your vehicle for its MOT and it fails. Your vehicle will need to be fixed and pass its MOT before you can use it again.

Example
Your vehicle's MOT was originally due to expire on 3 May 2020, but has been extended to 3 November 2020. You take your vehicle for its MOT in August and it fails. You must stop using the vehicle until it's fixed and passes another MOT test.

Get unsafe vehicles repaired
Take your vehicle to be repaired at the nearest open garage if it's unsafe. These are allowed to stay open during the coronavirus outbreak. You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

MOTs – lorries/busses
Lorries, buses and trailers will be exempt from needing an MOT for 3 months from 21 March 2020. You might need to apply for this, depending on your vehicle - please see the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-for-lorries-buses-and-trailers

TAX
If your vehicle tax and MOT run out in the same month.

You cannot renew your vehicle tax until your MOT expiry date has been extended. It will be extended a few days before it was originally due to expire. This means you might need to wait until later in the month to tax your vehicle.

You can check that the MOT expiry date has been extended before you tax your vehicle via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

You can tax:

The above has been taken from information written and supplied by the DVLA, DfT and .GOV

Will the fact that my MOT has been extended affect my car insurance?

If you are concerned that the government's policy of extending vehicle MOTs may have affected your car insurance, we would suggest you contact your insurer and check that you still have the same level of cover.

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