Drivers whose car is due an MOT this autumn should book their test quickly to avoid an expected rush in coming months, according to the body that oversees the test.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is warning that the temporary MOT extension granted to millions of vehicles during lockdown is likely to cause unprecedented demand at test centres in the next few months.
It says that demand on centres will double in September, October and November as drivers who took advantage of the extension need to have their cars tested alongside those vehicles whose test normally falls within that period.
And it is urging drivers to get their tests booked early to ensure they are not left without an appointment and with an illegal vehicle.
Chris Price, head of MOT policy for the DVSA, said: “MOT exemptions were issued to allow people to continue to use their vehicles for essential travel during the pandemic.
“The MOT is an important test to make sure a vehicle remains safe to drive.
“We know that MOT centres are likely to be very busy this autumn with double the usual demand. We are encouraging motorists to consider bringing their MOT forward to help beat the rush.”
The exemption scheme granted any vehicle due an MOT after March 30 an automatic extra six months on its test validity. However, it was stopped at the end of July, meaning any vehicle with an MOT due to expire on or after August 1 must have its test carried out as normal.
Driving a vehicle without a valid MOT can carry a fine of up to £1,000 and driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition can land you with three penalty points, a driving ban and a £2,500 fine.
For drivers trying to book a test, if you get your MOT done over a month before it’s due, your MOT renewal date for next year will change but if it is carried out up to a month minus a day before your due date, you will keep the same renewal date next year.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, commented: “Garages are ready to ensure millions of vehicles on UK roads remain safe and provide peace of mind to owners.
“Although the six-month MOT extension provision ended on August 1, deferred tests have created increased demand this autumn so owners are strongly encouraged to get their vehicle’s test done as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”