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The MOT extension has ended – how to steer clear of trouble

The MOT extension has ended – how to steer clear of trouble

Crucial news and information for all drivers – the government’s MOT extension was cut short, so you might need to get your car to a garage!

Whether your car’s annual test is already due, or coming up in the months ahead, here’s what you need to know.

The MOT six-month extension has ended

To help prevent the virus from spreading during the lockdown, the Government introduced a six-month exemption for MOTs that needed renewing from the 30th of March.

Drivers were still responsible for their cars being ‘roadworthy’ and faced a fine of up to £1,000 if not.

But the extension was cut short, and with effect from August 1st most drivers once again need to make sure their vehicle has a valid MOT certificate.

My car’s MOT was due after the 30th of March – what should I do?

The good news for motorists whose car, van or motorcycle was due to be tested before 1st August – but after the 30th of March – is that the six-month exemption still applies. However, remember that you’re still responsible for it being in ‘roadworthy’ condition.

So if your vehicle’s MOT expired on the 1st of April, for example, you still have until the 30th of September to get it done, as that’s within the six months.

If you like to keep on top of your car though, don’t worry – you’re also allowed to have it serviced any time before the six months is up.

My car was due it’s MOT in August or later – what should I do?

If your car’s MOT test was due in August or later, you simply need to follow the rules as they were before the Government announced the exemption.

Here’s a reminder of the rules, as it may be easy to forget:

  • If you own a brand-new car, you don’t need to get an MOT test for three years from purchase.
  • Other vehicles, with a few exceptions such as for ‘classic’ cars, need to have the MOT test carried out every 12 months. If not, you face penalties.
  • You can have your MOT test carried out up to a month before it’s due, but still keep the same renewal date, if you wish.

Top reminder tip: free MOT text alerts

A good tip so you don’t forget your MOT date is to sign up for free MOT text reminders from the government. You get a reminder both one month and two weeks before your test is due.

All you need is your vehicle’s number plate and your email address or mobile number to sign up (link to

Many good garages offer a similar service. And some will even call you annually, if you ask them to, before the test date.

Tips for older drivers, or those with health conditions

A tip for those who are considered ‘vulnerable’ to COVID-19 – such as those with pre-existing health conditions or the elderly – is that plenty of garages now offer pick up and drop off MOT services.

Which means you can get your car checked without needing to go to a garage.