During the first lockdown everything other than essential shops and healthcare were shut down. While MoT garages were still deemed an essential service so technically open, the government announced an extension on MoT certificates meaning that people whose MoTs were due between 30th March and 1st August could wait an extra six months before getting their test done. Lockdown II is looking a little different; while some restrictions remain as stringent as before, learning from the previous lockdown means that some additional businesses will be allowed to remain open as long as they introduce certain Covid-safe measures.
Your local garage is allowed to continue trading, however they may be operating at reduced capacity due to lack of staff or a need to maintain social distance. What’s more, they may be busier than usual as they try to accommodate the backlog of tests that resulted from the initial delays. If your MoT is due within the next month or two, it is worth contacting your local MoT test centre to book your vehicle in as soon as you can. You can get your test up to a month less than a day before it is due to expire. So, if your MoT is due to expire on 25th December, you can book your vehicle in any time from 26th November and keep the same renewal date. If your MoT has expired:
- It is illegal to park on the road
- Your insurance is invalid
- You won’t be able to renew your vehicle tax
- You can only drive your vehicle to or from a garage to be repaired or for its MoT test.
If your vehicle is found on the road without an MoT certificate, you could be fined up to £1,000.
Covid-safe vehicle care
If you need to take your vehicle to the garage, it is important that you and your garage observe certain measures:
- Check that your garage has Covid-safe certification.
- Ask if they are taking any additional measures and if they require anything of you.
- Make sure you let your garage know if you are isolating (if this is the case you will need to reschedule your MoT test. Even if this means that your MoT test will be overdue by the time you come out of isolation, you won’t be driving it in the interim anyway).
- If possible, leave your vehicle windows open and wipe down surfaces before you drive home.
It is important to err on the side of caution at all times, so be realistic but be safe. If you are concerned about your vehicle or about getting your vehicle serviced or MoT’ed during lockdown II, get in touch with your local garage. They will be able to advise you on safety measures, waiting times and protocols designed to keep everybody safe.