As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, government guidelines state that we must all limit our contact with others as much as possible. Here at Scrap Car Comparison, we are still open for business, operating a strictly no contact service under the government guidance on social distancing.
But what if you’re a vehicle owner with an impending MOT expiry date? With social distancing and self-isolation guidelines in place, you may have wondered how and when you will be able to MOT your car. After all, without a valid MOT, you cannot tax your car either.
Firstly, don’t worry. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has extended MOT expiry dates for vehicles due to be tested from or after 30th March 2020, although they must still be kept in a roadworthy condition.
We’ve summarised the MOT expiry extension guidance here to bring you all you need to know.
By how long will my MOT expiry date be extended?
If your car, van or motorcycle is due for MOT on or after 30th March 2020, the MOT expiry date will be extended by six months.
Your vehicle’s MOT expiry date will be extended automatically, there’s nothing you need to do to ensure the extension is granted.
Can I check to see if my MOT expiry date has been extended?
Yes. The expiry date should be extended on the day itself, or a couple of days before. You can check this online by looking at your vehicle’s MOT history on the gov.uk website.
This is all done online; you won’t receive a letter or paper certificate to show that your MOT expiry date has been extended.
How can I keep my vehicle roadworthy during COVID-19?
Although MOT expiry dates are being extended, you must continue to keep your vehicle in a roadworthy condition.
Your vehicle should be safe and legal to drive at all times. So, it’s more important than ever to monitor the condition your car, van or motorcycle yourself until you can take it for a professional MOT. You can be fined up to £2,500, receive penalty points and a potential driving ban for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
Every time you drive, you should check the following:
- The windscreen, windows and mirrors are clean
- All lights work
- The brakes work
You should also ensure that the engine and tyres of your car, van or motorcycle are properly maintained. Look at your vehicle’s handbook, which will tell you how often to check the following:
- Engine oil
- Water level in the radiator or expansion tank
- Brake fluid level
- Windscreen and rear window washer bottles – top up with windscreen washer fluid if necessary
- Tyres – they must have the correct tread depth and be free of cuts and defects
Tyre tread must be a certain depth depending on the type of vehicle:
- Cars, light vans and light trailers – 1.6 millimetres (mm)
- Motorcycles – 1mm
- Mopeds must have visible tread across the middle three-quarters and around the entire tyre.
How do I tax my vehicle during COVID-19?
Once your MOT expiry date has been extended, you will be able to tax your car, van or motorcycle online as usual.
What if my vehicle’s MOT was due on or before 29th March 2020?
So far, we’ve looked at what you should do if your vehicle’s MOT was due on or after 30th March 2020. But what if your vehicle’s MOT expiry date was 29th March or before?
It applies for any vehicles not yet tested, and any vehicles that have been tested and failed, and therefore need a retest.
If this applies to you, your next steps depend on your health and personal circumstances.
If you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
You must not take your vehicle for its MOT. You should stay home and self-isolate. Don’t worry, you won’t be penalised for not being able to get a new MOT.
Once you no longer need to self-isolate, you can book your vehicle in for an MOT. Garages and MOT centres are allowed to stay open under government guidelines and should offer a no contact service. Some are operating a collect-and-return service, so you don’t need to take the vehicle to be tested yourself.
Ensure you only drive your vehicle if and when you are taking it to the MOT itself, and not at any other time.
If you’re not self-isolating or extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19)
You can book an MOT for your vehicle if you have to use it.
Examples of necessary use include:
- to shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- for any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- to travel for work purposes (but only where you cannot work from home)
Garages and MOT centres can stay open under government guidelines and if they have chosen to do so, should offer a no contact service.
There’s more information for people with vehicle MOT expiry dates on or before 29th March 2020 on the gov.uk website, including guidance on vehicle tax.
If you need further information on the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting our operations, our regularly updated COVID-19 page details all you need to know.
From all at Scrap Car Comparison, stay safe.