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‘Urgent talks’ over MOT following lockdown announcement

PUBLISHED: 06:30 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:06 25 March 2020

The Department of Transport is currently in discussions about MOTs for cars, motorbikes and vans during the coronavirus. Picture: PA

The Department of Transport is currently in discussions about MOTs for cars, motorbikes and vans during the coronavirus. Picture: PA

Archant

“Urgent” discussions are taking place surrounding MOT tests for cars, motorcycles and vans.

On Wednesday, the Department of Transport announced vehicle owners in Britain will be granted a six-month exemption from MoT testing.

The Department for Transport said in a statement: “All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MoT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March.

“Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.”

The Department for Transport last week announced a suspension of MOT tests for larger vehicles.

Garages are among the businesses that can remain open after the government announced a lockdown and the closure of “non-essential” shops to shut.

Under the guidance, prime minister Boris Johnson detailed a short list of reasons why people can leave their homes as he ordered the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essentials items during an address to the nation on Monday night.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said: “People should stay at home and avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons you should leave your house are set out in the government guidance.

“The Department for Transport is urgently looking at MOT testing for cars, motorcycles and light vans in light of the current situation and will provide an update shortly.”

Last Friday, it was announced the annual tests for heavy vehicles such as lorries, buses and trailers would be suspended for up to three months.

The statement also declared car, motorcycle, lorry, coach and bus driving tests were postponed for three months as well as approved driving instructor tests and checks.

Theory tests have been cancelled until April 20 2020.

Read more: BRITAIN IN LOCKDOWN: Boris Johnson orders people to stay in their homes

Tests are available to key workers, which has been listed on the DVSA website as those working in health and social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and national security, transport, utilities, communication and financial services,

You can also not book a test for a future date.

Read more: All of Norfolk’s recycling centres to shut - and park and ride sites to close

Those affected would be contacted by the DVSA to have their test automatically rebooked.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are having to take big decisions to protect the public in our national battle against COVID-19. Regrettably, we have had to suspend driver testing for up to 3 months to help tackle the spread of the virus.

“It is vital that those who need a test can get one so DVSA is offering tests to those who have a critical need, such as the NHS and drivers delivering goods across the UK.

“Those who have tests cancelled will have priority when testing resumes.”

If your MOT runs out before March 30

If you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus

If your MOT runs out while you’re staying at home because you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus (self-isolation), you should book an MOT test after your period of self-isolation is over.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is working with insurers and the police to make sure you are not unfairly penalised for not being able to get an MOT.

If you are extremely vulnerable from coronavirus

You must not take your vehicle for its MOT if you’re extremely vulnerable from coronavirus.

DfT is working with insurers and the police to make sure you are not unfairly penalised for not being able to get an MOT.

If you’re not self-isolating

Book your MOT test at any open test centre if you’re not self-isolating.

MOT centres and garages are still allowed to stay open. If you’re not self-isolating or extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 you still need an MOT to make sure your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

If your test is due on or after March 30

You do not need to do anything to extend your vehicle’s MOT expiry date if it’s on or after 30 March 2020. However, you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.

Your vehicle will be automatically given a six-month MOT exemption. This will extend your current MOT expiry date by six months.

Your MOT expiry date will be updated in due course on the DVSA website.

This also applies to cars due their first MOT.

If your first MOT was due before 30 March 2020 and your vehicle did not pass

Your vehicle will not get an extension to its MOT due date and will need to pass an MOT before you can drive it again.

The government is allowing MOT centres and garages to remain open. So you can still get an MOT if you need your vehicle:

to shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible

for any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

to travel to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

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