The UK government’s decision to suspend MOT testing for six months at the height of the lockdown for the Covid 19 pandemic was always a balancing act. With public safety a priority, the choice was between more unsafe vehicles using the roads for essential purposes, against risking community transmission at testing centres. Once the extension was announced, this took pressure off understaffed garages. However, pre-lockdown MOT conditions are not being completely carried through now that the extension period has been shortened. Read on to discover why many drivers might get a nasty shock when taking their post lockdown MOT.
Pre lockdown failure rule
The finer details of the MOT certificate are perhaps not as widely appreciated by motorists as they should be, although garages are extremely well acquainted with them. One of the stipulations which applied before the end of March 2020 was in relation to the certificate’s validity after a vehicle had failed an early MOT test.
Up until this time, taking your car, van or motorbike for its MOT early was usually a fairly risk free thing to do, unless it had serious problems. As most first time MOT failures are for easily fixable problems, this was unlikely to be a worry for the majority of drivers and riders. This was because, if you took your MOT early and it failed for non dangerous fault/s, your certificate was still valid until the expiry date printed on it.
That meant that you could legally use your vehicle on UK roads despite it having failed its most recent MOT test. Of course, the vast majority of responsible road users would take steps to have their vehicle fixed before this date; but the point is that they didn’t actually have to. Even if pulled over by police at the roadside, the original MOT certificate would still have been valid.
Post lockdown change
Many millions of motorists took advantage of the six month extension to their MOT, and rightly so. Now that testing is back to normal, the advice is to have your MOT as soon as possible, to avoid a rush in the autumn. However, if you do have your test done early, there is one risk you will be taking which wouldn’t have applied before the extension came into force.
Now, if you put your vehicle in for its MOT before the new expiry date is due, and it fails, that is the end of your extension period. Unlike before, you will not have until the original date to have any problems fixed. Any failure will mean driving an illegal vehicle the day after the failed test, no matter what the reason.
Book your MOT to suit yourself
Whatever choice you make, you should weigh your options quickly. Enter your Reg. number here to see what date the MOT database has for your expiry; then, book a test using the online tool for a time and a venue that suits you best. But don’t forget, any failure for an extended MOT will put an end to that extension.