Millions could be driving without a valid MOT

Millions could be driving without a valid MOT
Up to two million cars could be being driven illegally on UK roads because motorists haven’t got their vehicles MOT tested after the extension given due to coronavirus expired.

One in five (19.5%) of the vehicles eligible for a six-month MOT extension during the first 2020 lockdown are yet to be assessed, figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suggest.

Even the last cars to have benefitted from the exemption for the compulsory test have now gone past the extended expiry date.

A total of 1.86 million vehicles still haven’t had a new MOT for an average of 3.4 months, according to a report by Kwik Fit based on the figures.

The company reports that vehicles brought in for assessment were more likely to pass the test due to cars covering fewer miles over the last year. It estimates the failure rate is as much as 10% lower than in a normal year.

This suggests cars that haven’t been tested in more than a year are more likely to fail their tests. The number is estimated at 600,000 out of the 1.86 million by the report.

“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,” said Eric Smith, MOT manager at Kwik Fit.

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

To avoid fines for driving illegally it is important that drivers get an MOT test with a local garage they trust.

The report comes a few weeks after the DVSA urged the 10 million car owners who benefited from the Covid-19 six-month MOT exemption to sign up for its reminder service. The pause ran from 30 March to 1 August.

A DVSA spokesperson told the Daily Mail: “It is illegal to drive a car without an MOT and motorists can face a fine of up to £1,000 if they are caught.

“DVSA’s free MOT reminder service can help people make sure their vehicles are safe and legal.”

The agency also said it has seen evidence of a “small rise” in vehicles being taken for MOTs “one or more days late” in recent weeks.

But it has no evidence that the vehicles presented late are being used on the road in-between MOT expiry and being taken for a test.

It pointed out the figures highlighted by the report include some cars which may have been SORNed, scrapped, not being used currently or exported out of the country.

If you don’t have a valid MOT book a test today with one of our approved garages.

RAC members and non-members alike can also use MyRAC to set reminders for MOTs services and more.

Get 3 months FREE breakdown cover!

With 12 months of Ultimate cover, new customers get 3 months for free.* Plus, get roadside and home rescue as standard, only with the RAC.^

*Ends 05/08/21, 7am ^Vs AA and Green Flag.