2nd August 2020 – www.express.co.uk
The DVSA has warned garages will be packed across September, October and November which could make it difficult to book in tests. The increase in demand is down to the MOT test extension scheme, which came into effect from 6 March until the end of July.
Current six month extensions will still be honoured, meaning some tests have been pushed back to January 2021.
However, the first set of customers offered an extension will now be due an exam at the start of September.
Garages will now be faced with the dilemma of having both ordinary customers, who were originally due their test over the autumn, as well as those who have been pushed back.
There are fears this sudden surge could create chaos for mechanics with many drivers possibly unable to get appointments.
In a desperate bid to reduce autumn demand, the DVSA has urged motorists to get their tests done as soon as possible to beat the expected rush in demand.
Chris Price, Head of MOT Policy at the DVSA said: “MOT exemptions were issued to allow people to continue to use their vehicles for essential travel during the pandemic.
“The MOT is an important test to make sure a vehicle remains safe to drive.
“We know that MOT centres are likely to be very busy this autumn with double the usual demand.
“We are encouraging motorists to consider bringing their MOT forward to help beat the rush.”
It means those who cannot secure an appointment due to a rise in demand could be fined up to £1,000 for using their car without a valid pass certificate.
Drivers could also be issued up to £2,500 fines if they drive a vehicle which is considered to be in a dangerous condition.
Mike Hawes, Chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has also warned the delayed tests would create “increased demand”.
He said drivers needed to get tests done as soon as they could to “avoid disappointment” of not securing a test.
He said: “Garages are ready to ensure millions of vehicles on UK roads remain safe and provide peace of mind to owners.
“Although the six month MOT extension provision ends on 1 August, deferred tests have created increased demand this autumn so owners are strongly encouraged to get their vehicle’s test done as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
“Motorists can be reassured that the sector has full COVID safety measures in place and many workshops are on hand to collect and deliver vehicles for vulnerable customers.”
However the DVSA has urged drivers that getting a test done early could permanently change their future renewal dates.
If motorists get their test done over a month before it was originally due, next year’s MOT renewal date will change.
Drivers must take their test up to a month before their renewal date to keep the same one for next year.
This isn’t too vital but could be important for road users who have remembered their renewal date and don’t wish to risk being caught out next year.