MOT centres could become twice as busy after lockdown due to ‘backlog’, says expert

MOT test centres will need to deal with a “backlog” at the end of the year with vehicles potentially needing extensive repair work after months spent in lockdown. There are fears a year’s worth of tests could become shoehorned into a six month period as motorists batte to get their certificates extended. 


  • Some drivers may still need an MOT test under lockdown

Terry Hiles, general manager of motoring experts Licence Check said: “The six month MOT extension raises concerns about the potential backlog of tests that will need to be carried out later this year.

“Centres will be twice as busy as normal during the autumn/winter period as 12 month’s demand will be effectively “shoehorned” into a six month time frame.”

MOT certificates have been automatically extended for vehicles whose original test was due on or after 30 march. 

This six month extension has already been applied to any qualifying motorists will mean their certificate will not run out during lockdown. 

This is to ensure motorists are still able to use their vehicles for essential journeys and could continue applying for car tax and insurance where a valid MOT is needed. 

Motorists have been informed the extension will be exactly six months after their initial test was due. 

This means those whose test was due on 30rh March should expect to have an MOT test around 30 September. 

However, Mr Hiles believes many drivers may need to sign up for online prompts to ensure they are not caught out. 

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He said: “However motorists who were due an MOT test before 30 March will not be allowed to drive their vehicles until they have obtained a new test.”

Motorists who were due an MOT test before 30 March will not be allowed to drive their vehicles until they have obtained a new test. 

Garages have continued to provide MOT tests for these drivers to ensure the nation can continue moving during the lockdown. 

There are fears among experts that the prolonged lockdown could lead to an increase of dangerous cars on the road. 


  • MOT suspensions may cause dangerous cars

The Independent Garage Association confirmed they did not support the decision which could leave up to ten million dangerous vehicles on the road. 

Delays will mean these vehicles are not picked up and removed from the roads which may create added road risks. 

Stuart James, chief executive of the IGA said: “Any length of MOT extension will increase the number of vehicles that are unroadworthy, even given reduced usage, so the Government needs to take this into consideration.” 

Last month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed vehicles had to be kept in a roadworthy condition during the lockdown. 

This is because road laws still apply during the lockdown which could see motorists caught out with extra charges. 

Police officers could issue a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition. 

In some severe cases, motorists could even be issued a charge for dangerous driving which could see costs rise to £5,000. 

Some road users could even face a temporary driving ban if the case goes to court. 

Many garages will remain open during the lockdown to provide essential vehicle repairs if a car is considered unsafe. 

Motorists who cannot attend a garage should not drive with a potentially damaged car as this could put themselves and other road users at risk. 

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