MOTs to be deferred because of Coronavirus25 Mar 2020

Extensions of up to six months

Drivers will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing because of the Coronavirus.

It will mean key workers will be able to get to their places of employment and people can get to the shops to buy essential provisions without worrying that their vehicles aren’t fully compliant with the law.

According to the Department for Transport:

“All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March 2020.

“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 Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said legislation to allow the change will be introduced on 30 March and will have immediate effect, lasting for 12 months. Before then drivers should still get their vehicle MOTed if required.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, also supported the move, adding that in many cases drivers should not need a formal inspection to tell them there is something wrong with their car.

He said: “Well over half of the defects picked up by an MOT relate to lights, windscreens, tyres and brakes, and are the sorts of things many of us should be able to spot and get fixed to keep our vehicles safe even without the official test and stamp of approval.”

Insurance trade body the Association of British Insurers said its members “will not penalise you if you can’t get an MOT“.

Official data shows which types of defect detected by MOT tests are most common:

  • Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment – 27% of all defects discovered
  • Suspension – 18%
  • Brakes – 17%
  • Tyres – 12%
  • Visibility – 8%
  • Body, chase, structure – 7%
  • Noise, emissions and leaks – 6%

The data shows that those vehicles which failed their MOT first time round had an average of 2.6 defects.



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

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