Coronavirus: My MOT is due - can I still drive?

Added: 27 March 2020

Coronavirus: My MOT is due - can I still drive?

With the government now telling us to #StayAtHome for everything but essential activities, what should you do if your car is due its MOT? Like many areas of daily life, the government has announced new temporary guidelines for car owners. This includes what to do if your car’s MOT runs out during the current coronavirus outbreak. Here is everything you need to know.

A six month MOT exemption period

To help car owners during the coronavirus pandemic, the UK government has granted a six month MOT exemption period for car owners whose MOT is coming up. This exemption applies to any cars whose MOT expires on or after 30th March 2020, and will allow you an extra half a year to get your MOT renewed.

This exemption has been introduced to help anyone who has an MOT renewal date coming up soon but is currently staying home to comply with current government regulations put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re self-isolating, suffering from symptoms of coronavirus or staying home on the government’s advice, you do not need to worry. The MOT test is not considered essential and you will not need to get your MOT renewed until the lock-down restrictions have been lifted. Therefore, you should not leave your home for an MOT and do not need to worry if your MOT renewal date is coming up soon.

MOT exemption coronavirus

Can you still drive if your car’s MOT has expired?

Under normal circumstances, driving a car with an expired MOT certificate is something you should never consider. Usually, being caught without a valid MOT certificate could land you a hefty fine of up to £1,000. During the current coronavirus outbreak,however, those penalties do not apply. With the six month MOT exemption that has been introduced, drivers will not be fined for driving after their MOT certificate expires if it runs out after the 30th March 2020 deadline.

That doesn’t mean that you can drive without exception, though. When Grant Shapps, the UK Secretary of State for Transport, announced the new exemption period, he made it clear that there are some caveats to keep in mind. Even if your car is eligible for the six month MOT exemption due to coronavirus, you must keep your car in road-worthy condition. If you drive a car that is deemed unsafe, you could still receive a fine of up to £2,500, be banned from driving and receive three penalty points on your license. Check these maintenance tips to see what you can do.

What if your MOT was due before 30th March 2020?

If your MOT was due before 30th March 2020, you can only drive with a valid MOT certificate. You can only get an MOT if you need your car to shop for groceries, for any medical need or to travel to work when you can’t work from home. 

Are garages closing?

For now, garages are allowed to stay open for essential repairs during the pandemic. However, you should only visit one if it is absolutely necessary to avoid putting yourself and workers at risk.

You can keep up to date with any changes on the government website.

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