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Time is up on MOT extensions, drivers’ agency warns

Two million UK drivers have overdue MOTs and vehicle owners are being urged to check if theirs needs updated.

Is your MOT up to date?

Is your MOT up to date?

An extension designed to take the pressure off vehicle owners during the successive COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 has expired, leaving two million drivers in the UK travelling in a vehicle that hasn’t been retested.

The lapsed time for new tests currently averages at 3.4 months, and worse still, with around one third of cars expected to fail their MOT in a normal year, that could mean at least 600,000 cars are being driven on UK roads on a fail until finally tested.

Keen to get drivers booking their vehicle’s MOT, following the test date extension’s expiration on 30th March 2021, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have set up an MOT testing reminder service that allows drivers to enter their registration number and be updated on when their car’s next MOT is overdue. According to the DVSA website, the service is not currently available for lorries or buses.

A DVSA spokesperson said: ‘It’s a year since we started issuing MOT exemptions, so we are promoting our MOT reminder service to motorists.

‘We want to make it easier for motorists to remember their new test date this year. The message is that signing up for an MOT reminder is an easy and free way to help motorists keep their vehicle safe to drive.’

The renewed push for drivers to get their car an MOT comes amidst increased traffic levels on UK roads compared to before the pandemic, with traffic levels in England rising to 88% of pre-pandemic levels, compared with 77% the previous week. The new figures follow the relaxation of travel guidelines in England from 12th April.

And while drivers might feel their car will have avoided the wear and tear of everyday driving while parked on the street or in a driveway during periods of lockdown, the opposite is often true; long spells of vehicle inactivity can put more weight on sections of tyre, weakening them and necessitating their replacement. Moreover, harsh winter conditions, similar to those seen in the UK during the past winter, can cause mechanical issues when a car is once again driven more frequently, such as the increased corrosion of parts.

Is your MOT overdue? Book your car in with Arnold Clark’s online booking service.

About the Author

John McCallum