Drivers granted six-month MOT extension from March 30

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has extended MOT deadlines (Picture: PA/ iStockphoto)

Drivers whose vehicles are due an MOT from March 30 will receive a six-month extension amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This will enable people to continue carrying out essential travel, for example, getting medical supplies or going to jobs that can’t be worked from home, the Department of Transport (DfT) says.

Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition and garages will remain open for necessary repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if their vehicles are deemed unsafe.

The new legislation will be introduced on March 30 and come into immediate effect, lasting for 12 months. Until the new regulations come into place, drivers will still need to get their vehicles tested, if necessary to do so.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaking to the media on College Green in Westminster, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday March 23, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

The new legislation will come into effect on March 30 (Picture: PA)

MOT vehicle test certificate

Anyone unable to get to their MOT before March 30 should contact their insurer (Picture: iStockphoto)

The DfT say they are currently working with insurers and the police to ensure anyone who is unable to get an MOT due to poor health or the need to self-isolate is not unfairly penalised.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID19 are able to do so.

‘Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine.

‘Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work.’

mechanic at work in his garage

Garages will remain open for essential repairs (Picture: iStockphoto)

Practical driving tests and annual testing for lorries, buses and coaches have also been suspended for up to 3 months.

Drivers are still allowed to use their vehicles during the lockdown of the UK but only for essential reasons. This includes buying supplies, caring for a vulnerable person or taking a child to school (if their parents are key workers).

However, motorists are expected to abide by social distancing rules, which includes a ban on gatherings of more than two people. Families, or people in the same household, are exempt from the guidance.

This is also useful to remember when using a garage or a petrol station. Drivers are advised to use the pay at the pump service, to minimise contact with other people.

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