MOT Exemption – FAQs

Why are these changes happening?

Use of cars should be limited now. However, critical workers will still need their cars to get to work and make deliveries that are helping to keep the country going. However, contact should be minimised to reduce spread of COVID-19, so it has been decided that extending MOT due dates for a period, is sensible to minimise travel and contact, and to keep people who need to move, moving.

Some garages are also closing as people become ill or go into self-isolation – or as other parts of businesses (such as car sales) shut down. Getting an MOT may become increasingly hard.

What are the changes?

Vehicles that have MOTs due from 30/3, will have their date moved 6 months forward – so tests due on 30th March 2020 will become due on 30th September 2020, and so on.

How long will this continue?

The government will keep this under review to manage the spread of COVID-19.

How will it work?

DVSA will start moving MOT expiry dates automatically in the MOT system from 30/3. This will initially be done in a few batches, so that after a few days they are working 7 days ahead. That will mean, say, that every Tuesday – the following Tuesday’s tests are moved 6 months ahead.

Some types of test – such as vehicles coming up for their first test and some specialist vehicles may take a little longer – but this should be all automatic.

The new ‘due date’ will appear in the MOT History Service when it is amended – that will enable customers to check it has been done and they can legally use the car for getting to work as a critical worker, or getting necessary shopping.

Why is it starting on 30 March and not before?

Legal changes need to be made to allow this. They take time to get formally agreed, to ensure sufficient rigour goes into getting them right.

Can I still do MOTs?

Yes, only cars with MOT due dates on or beyond the 30/3 will benefit from this exemption. Cars with due dates prior to that will still require or need an MOT to be legally used - whether that MOT happens before or after the 30/3.

Some customers may still wish to have MOTs beyond the 30/3, even if their car is exempt – and you can do this.

What if my equipment is out of calibration and engineers are no longer available?

If your equipment appears to be functioning normally and correctly you can carry on delivering tests out of calibration. You should not use equipment that is functioning incorrectly or is unsafe. Any overdue calibrations should be carried out as soon as engineers are available.

Can I make customers honour appointments?

Travel should be minimised now. If a customer has an MOT booked and no longer requires it for whatever reason (that could be because they are self-isolating, do not need the car for critical journeys or their car is now to have its due date extended) should not be pushed to attend. That would increase unnecessary journeys and contact. It would be reasonable to cancel appointments and refund money taken – or reschedule to later in the year.

How will MOTs start again? Surely all the MOTs might come at the same time?

We recognise that we want to avoid significant bunching of MOTs – as that will carry on for years to come and have effects on the service you offer and the smoothness of demand.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will share further information on what steps we will take to help you through this.

If I have MOTs still to do, how can I do them safely for my staff and customers?

DVSA has/will be publishing some guidance on its GOV.UK pages. We encourage garages to think innovatively – as supermarkets have done – to ensure that government guidance on social distancing is followed.