MOT tests to resume
The Department for Transport has announced that MOT tests will be recommencing across England, Scotland and Wales on August 1st, ending the period of the exemption brought in by the Government to keep key workers on the road during the Covid-19.
What happens if your MOT is due on the 1st August 2020 or after?
If your test is due on or after 1st August 2020, you will have to book your test in as normal.
MOTs due before 1st August are still exempt
The six-month exemption will still apply to MOTs due between 30th March and 31st July 2020 under the current Government guidance. The drivers are, however, still legally obliged to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy. They are encouraged to book their test as soon as possible.
When does the 6 months exemption expire?
The expiry date for the 6 months MOT exemption will depend on when your MOT was originally due. For example, if your MOT was due to expire on 1st June 2020, it will be extended until 1st December 2020 at the latest.
You can still get your mot test when you're exempt
You can still get your vehicle tested voluntarily even if you are legally exempt. There is no doubt how important this test is for road safety and your own, too.
As per the DVSA update issued on 29th May 2020, if you decide to test your vehicle voluntarily during the exemption period and it fails - you will lose your automatic exemption.
For example, your MOT extension was due to last until 1st December 2020 but you voluntarily have an MOT on 15th September and your vehicle does not pass, you cannot then continue to drive it until the repairs are done and the vehicle re-tested with the pass mark on your MOT certificate.
Do not use this as an excuse not to take an MOT though. Remember, you are still legally obliged to ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. If you notice anything wrong with your vehicle, you should take it to be checked as you normally would.
Whaat to check before taking your vehicle for an mot test?
Tyres are the main point of contact between a car and the road, so it is not difficult to work out why they are so important. An MOT test will check the general condition of a tyre as well as the amount of tread it has, so it is important to give them a thorough check. Make sure they are inflated to the correct pressure too. The legal minimum tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm
Number plate - check the number plate as it is an area which is checked during the test. Ensure it is not damaged, that has the right colour and is fully legible too. It must also be the right size.
Headlights and indicators - headlights and indicators are crucial to remaining safe on the road, which is why they are a key part of the MOT test. Ensure they are all working, and do not forget to test the hazard lights too!
Brake lights - brake lights are a key to your safety on the road and a legal must. One of the easiest ways to check them over is to reverse up to a reflective surface - such as a window or shiny garage door - then press the brake pedal and check in the rear-view mirror to ensure they are working.
Seat and seat belts - front seats should have a good range of motion, so slide them forward and back to make sure everything is moving freely and easily. You should be able to fasten all your seatbelts so check that before your test - pull them in and out to check they are operating correctly and give them a sharp tug as well to make sure that they react as they should do
Horn - this is something that testers will check straight away so check if it is working.
Screenwash - the majority of the checks on this list are easy to work out, but checking the screenwash is something that many people forget to do. If there is not enough screenwash in your vehicle it will fail
Windscreen - any damage larger than 40mm on the windscreen will result in a fail, so look out for any stone chips or cracks.
Windscreen wipers - they should be able to effectively clear the screen, leaving no streaks or making a 'rubbing' noise. If that is the case, replace them.
Engine fluids and levels - it is best to make sure your vehicle has plenty of fuel in the tank before you put it into its MOT, and it is possible that you could be turned away from the test centre if it does not have enough petrol or diesel. The same goes for engine oil – so check the levels of this are correct.
Dashboard lights - you should always check with the garage as soon as possible if the warning light shows up on your dashboard as these indicate there is an issue with your vehicle that can not only affect its performance, but your safety and the safety of other road uses, too. On top of that, these warning lights will also make your vehicle fail an MOT test.
Make sure to book your MOT in, and check out our best car and van lease deals if you're looking for a new vehicle.
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