MOT test extensions blamed for two million vehicles driving ‘illegally’ on UK roads

26th April 2021 | John

24th April 2021 –

Experts at KwikFit said almost two million cars were being driven illegally creating a possible road risk. Figures from the DVSA show since MOT extensions were introduced during the first lockdown, just one in five have yet to be retested.

Even some of the very last cars to receive an extension have now passed their extended expiry date.

Despite this, 1.86 million cars have not had a valid MOT test certificate in place for an average of 3.4 months.

Eric Smith, MOT scheme manager at KwikFit said “shifting expiry dates” could be to blame for the lack of tests.

He said: “It may be that shifting the expiry dates with the extension has caused the MOT to slip from drivers’ minds, or perhaps they have been using their car so little that they have forgotten about having it tested.

“Some owners may think that because they’ve not been using their car it will be just as they left it.”

KwikFit says the data is “particularly troubling” when assessing the MOT failure rate of cars that have been brought to garages in recent months.

This could suggest cars which are likely to fail their tests have not been brought in which has skewered the statistics.

However, KwikFit has warned of the possible safety risks with parts likely to “rust or wear” if cars are not used as regularly as they should be.

Mr Smith has warned some parts may “fail” if cars are not regularly checked and urged drivers to get their vehicle tested as soon as possible.

He said: “However parts will rust or wear with little use, bulbs may fail or windscreen wipers start to perish.

“We would urge drivers to make sure they are both safe and legal before heading out on to the road as restrictions ease.”

KwikFit has urged drivers to sign up for their free MOT reminder service to ensure road users do not forget the date of their next test.

The DVSA also offers a free reminder service to ensure road users are never caught out.

Recent analysis from The Motor Ombudsman found the majority of service and repair businesses were preparing for a high number of MOT test failures.

A total of 58 percent of businesses said they expected to see a larger number of MOT test failures this year than in 2020 which could catch drivers unaware.

This is based on the assumption consumers had been more hesitant to get their car repaired during the lockdown.

They said it was likely many drivers had not visited garages for routine maintenance which could have led to parts failures.

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