What are the different rules in the UK for car/vehicle MOTs?

14 December 2020

With the end of another lockdown, there has understandably been much confusion about where vehicle owners stand when it comes to their MOT tests. During the first national lockdown, the government announced that any vehicles due for their MOT from 30th March to 31st July 2020 would be granted a six-month extension.

The MOT extension ensured that garages could be freed up to deliver essential and emergency repair work, whilst frontline workers looking to get to work and people needing to travel to purchase food and medicine could do so without the risk of incurring fines. But has the second national lockdown seen the government grant another MOT test extension?

Has another MOT extension been granted in England?

The second national lockdown may have brought extensions to the furlough scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), but no extension has been granted this time round for vehicle MOTs.

Test centres were once again deemed ‘essential services’, which means premises remained open and could continue providing MOT, servicing and repairs to their customers. If you are due for an MOT or your current MOT certificate recently expired, booking in for your MOT is certainly recommended. But act fast, many testing centres are currently experiencing a backlog of bookings due to the government’s previous lockdown extension.

What are the MOT rules in England?

All vehicles must get an MOT every year if they are more than three years old. All new vehicles (apart from ambulances and private passenger vehicles) are exempt from MOT testing during their first three years, with their first MOT test due on the third anniversary of the vehicle’s registration date.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are some exemptions. If you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms or you’ve been advised to self-isolate via the NHS Test and Trace service, you must not take your vehicle for its MOT. The same applies to those self-isolating after travelling overseas.

Are the MOT rules the same in the rest of the UK?

If you are based in Northern Ireland, you would have been granted a 12-month extension during the first national lockdown. This was introduced to prevent testing centres from becoming unnecessarily overburdened.

Scottish vehicle owners were initially not granted an extension, with only MOTs for lorries, buses and trailers suspended for a period of three months. However, the same extension granted in England was later given to Scottish vehicle owners. As in England, mandatory MOT testing for cars, motorcycles and vans was reintroduced on the 1st August with normal MOT rules now applicable unless the vehicle owner is self-isolating.

Looking to put your vehicle into storage but worried its MOT is due? We’ve got you covered! Our specialists can provide services such as MOT testing and paint correction throughout your vehicle’s stay with us. Get in touch with our team today to discuss your storage requirements.

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