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The government has announced that mandatory MOT tests for cars, motorcycles and vans in England, Scotland and Wales will be restarted from 1 August.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, vehicles were granted the six-month exemption from MOT testing in March, to help slow the spread of the virus.

However, with the gradual lifting of the lockdown, all cars, motorcycles or vans due a MOT test from 1 August will now be required to get a test certificate.

Vehicles whose MOT due date is before 1 August will still receive a six month exemption.

This might be more onerous for business owners with multiple vehicles. Fleets could face difficulties booking MOTs due to the backlog of tests caused by the pandemic, with only some garages remaining open to conduct essential services. However, with more than 90% now open, testing capacity has reached 70% of normal levels and is rising steadily.

Five million fewer MOT tests were carried out in April and May 2020 than in the same months last year, according to DVSA figures.

Paul Hollick, co-chair of the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP), said: “The MOT extension created valuable breathing space at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and was very much welcome.

“Now, while we clearly need to start returning to businessas-usual, it would have been better to have seen more of a managed transition in order to create a softer landing."

“This does very much mean that there is considerable potential for the MOT testing system to become heavily congested and even overwhelmed, especially during September when there is likely to be a glut in demand.

“Our advice to fleet managers is to book ahead with MOT stations as soon as possible. If you can’t get vehicles tested before their MOT lapses, you can’t use them. It’s that simple.”

Two-in-five (40%) fleets have postponed non-essential service, maintenance and repair (SMR) work during the coronavirus crisis, according to a Fleet News survey. More than half (57.7%), however, expect to resume SMR work in the next three months and one-in-six (16.2%) within the next six months.

Steve Nash, CEO of The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), urged fleets to get their car booked in as soon as possible for a vehicle if it has already passed its MOT date.

“The risks of the exemption were increasing exponentially the longer it went on,” he said.

“The MOT on millions of vehicles has already expired, which means even the most basic checks haven’t been done, with claims that more than a million vehicles due for their MOT since lockdown are likely to have failed.

“MOT Testing Centres are open and ready to help drivers – with all the appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures in place.”

What you need to do

The table shows the date your vehicle must pass its MOT by, based on when it was originally due.

Month MOT was Due  Date Vehicle must pass MOT by Reason
March 2020 30 September 2020 Your vehicle has been given two 3-month exemptions.
April 2020 31 Otcober 2020 Your vehicle has been given two 3-month exemptions.
May2020 31 August 2020 Your vehicle will get one 3-month exemption.
June 2020 30 September 2020 Your vehicle will get one 3-month exemption.
July 2020 31 October 2020 Your vehicle will get one 3-month exemption.
August 2020 30 November 2020 Your vehicle will get one 3-month exemption.

To further help and support, speak to your usual Towergate Insurance Brokers advisor or email:

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