27th January 2021 – www.express.co.uk
Hundreds of drivers could lose their MOT certificate and banned from driving within just a few days for failing to follow a new rule introduced by Boris Johnson.
Thousands of motorists who were originally due their test between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 benefited from a test extension during the first lockdown. The government automatically extended certificates for six months due to the pandemic which led to garage backlogs over the winter.
But the DVSA has warned many drivers could still be caught out with many certificates now due to end within just a few days.
Some motorists may not have signed up for reminder notices meaning they may simply forget to get their car tested and allow their certificate to expire.
A statement said: “Your vehicle’s MOT was due to expire on 31 July 2020.
“This will automatically be extended to 31 January 2021. You will need to get your MOT by this date.”
MOT services and vehicle repair garages are allowed to remain open during the current Stay at Home lockdown restrictions.
No further extensions have been put into place for the new lockdown meaning road users who fail to get their car tested could be caught out.
Experts at BookMyGarage said nearly 700,000 fewer MOT tests were carried out in June this year.
This meant thousands of MOT tests which were originally due in the past week of June were instead conducted over the Christmas period.
They confirmed the extension has caused demand to be “significantly higher than normal” since September.
Several police forces have reported stopping drivers without valid MOTs over the past few months as many fall foul of the extension.
Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit said: “For a vehicle to be used on a road it must have its documents in order.
“Government gave a six month MOT extension last year. Beyond that, the law is the law.”
According to Halfords, the current fine for driving without an MOT is up to £1,000.
However, drivers can even be charged for driving an unroadworthy car even if their MOT certificate is still valid.
This means those who have benefitted from an MOT extension could still be caught out even if they have a certificate still in place.
Driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition can put yourself and others at risk with the offence carrying a penalty of up to £1,000.
The Association of British Insurers has warned many drivers policies require a valid MOT test.
They have confirmed insurers will likely be “pragmatic” due to the extension but drivers cannot drive past their MOT cut off date without a valid excuse.
A spokesperson said: “Motorists should get their MOT in the usual way.
“If this is not possible due to the impact of Covid-19, such as the need to self-isolate, insurers will be pragmatic and not penalise you for something that is out of your control.
“Safety is paramount and it is illegal to drive a car in a dangerous condition, so make sure to check your brakes, tyres and lights before driving.”« Stay-at-home drivers warned to expect fines if MOTs expireSeven new driving laws will come into effect from 2021 affecting millions of road users »