MOT extension should be stopped ‘without delay’ as motorists are put ‘at risk’

21st May 2020 | John – 20th May 2020

MOT experts at the Independent Garage Association (IGA) claim damaged vehicles could be left “unrectified” which could see many dangerous cars left on the road. The IGA says stopping the extension will ensure cars are kept in a roadworthy condition and ensure roads remain safe.

Data from the DVSA has revealed MOT tests completed on cars and vans fell by 78 percent between March 16 and April 13.

This equated to a drop of over 600,000 tests as just 138,035 were carried out across the nation.

Stuart James, head of the IGA has also warned motorists could be set for an increase in repair costs.

This is because minor damage may slowly deteriorate over time which may have clawed bigger issues to develop.

Mr James said: “Now that the public are being encouraged to go back to work and avoid using public transport where possible, the time is right to stop the MOT extension.

“With approximately one-third of cars failing their initial MOT, millions of faults will be left unrectified if the full six-month extension goes ahead.

“Small defects that would have been found in the MOT test will worsen, not only leading to an increase in the number of dangerous cars on the road, but an increase in future repair costs for vehicle owners too.”

Alongside the safety concerts Mr James also warned motorists of the financial risks of travelling with cars which have not been well maintained.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed in March that vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy cognition despite the lockdown.

Police officers will still issue fines and penalties for motorists if the vehicles are considered to be in a bad condition.

Driving a car considered to be unsafe could see motorists issued a charge as high as £2,500.

In some severe cases, police officers may also issue you a penalty for dangerous driving which can see bills increase to £5,000.

Motorists could also be issued up to nine penalty points issued on a driving licence and may even be awarded a temporary driving ban.

The MOT expert warned tyre defects could rise by over a quarter of a million due to the lockdown which could put drivers at risk of picking up heavy fines.

Mr James said: “Leaving vehicles unchecked also puts motorists at risk of prosecution for driving an unsafe vehicle when it has been exempted from MOT testing.

“For example, 580,000 vehicles will have illegal tyres today, which will rise by another 290,000 by the end of the MOT extension.

“These drivers face a fine of up to £2,500 for each tyre and three penalty points.

“This is a simple defect which could have been easily rectified if an inspection was carried out, but could now cost the driver dearly and put themselves and others at risk.”

“Stopping the MOT extension without delay will ensure that many more cars are roadworthy, and another major step will be taken in helping the UK economy recover.”

Many garages have remained to customers needing essential repairs during the coronavirus pandemic but some decide to close for health and safety reasons.

The extension was put into place to ensure motorists could continue to use their car despite the shutdown.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has also called for MOT tests to return “as soon as possible”.

SMMT President Mike Hawes said: “Given many of these vehicles have been idle for weeks, a reconsideration of the six-month MOT extension needs to be made as soon as possible.”

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