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MOT Extension Ends on 1st August

As lockdown began in March, the DVSA announced a halt to mandatory MOT testing. Instead, all valid MOTs received a six-month extension. However, with restrictions now beginning to ease, the Government has ended the extension scheme early. To find out what this means for you and your vehicle, read on.


What is the MOT extension scheme?

Image of cars waiting outside an MOT centre
Photo © Basher Eyre (cc-by-sa/2.0)

On 25th March, the DVSA announced that all MOTs due on or after 30th March, 2020 were to be extended by six months. The aim was to save motorists from having to travel to a test centre during lockdown, and in turn help to reduce the spread of coronavirus. MOT centres have, however, remained open throughout lockdown for those drivers who require a test.

At the time of the announcement, the extension was to apply to all MOTs due for renewal on or after 30th March. However, with the restrictions imposed by the UK government beginning to ease, this policy came under review in late June.


What’s changed?

Calendar showing the month of August, surrounded by pencils, a pen, and two smartphones both displaying calendar apps
Image source: marijana1 via Pixabay

On June 29th, the government announced that its MOT extension scheme was ending early. If your MOT is due on or after 1st August, 2020, the extension does not apply, and you must take your car in for a test. Your MOT is due:

  • On the third anniversary of your car’s initial registration, and
  • Every twelve months thereafter.

The extension scheme will continue to apply for all cars whose MOT was due before 1st August. So, if your car’s original MOT date was in July 2020, you won’t have to take it in for a test until January 2021.


Why is the extension scheme being shortened?

View of person holding a steering wheel while driving down a road lined with palm trees
US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young

The reasons behind the curtailing of the extension scheme are twofold. Firstly, with cases falling across the UK, the risk of transmitting the virus by attending an MOT appointment is smaller than it was in March. Additionally, the resulting easing of lockdown measures means that garages and testing centres across the country will be open.

With travel restrictions being eased, a further issue comes into play: drivers returning to the road. As more of us get behind the wheel—and travel further as we do so—the impetus for us to get our cars checked out becomes greater.

It’s worth noting, though, that even if you’re amongst the lucky ones to have received an MOT extension, you’re still responsible for the maintenance of your car. It’s up to you to ensure that your vehicle is still roadworthy, and to ensure that any necessary repairs are carried out.

By Andy Boardman

Andy fell in love with driving while road tripping around Iceland. He'll provide you with plenty of useful motoring advice, helping you to get the most out of every trip. When he's not writing here, you're most likely to find Andy on the way to his next destination.

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