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Stay-at-home drivers warned to expect fines if MOTs expire

© Shutterstock / GorodenkoffA mechanic repairs a car, as MOT and vehicle servicing are deemed essential work during the latest lockdown
A mechanic repairs a car, as MOT and vehicle servicing are deemed essential work during the latest lockdown

Car owners are being warned not to miss their MOT this year, even if they are currently unable to use their vehicle.

Failure to do so could see motorists facing hefty fines or having their insurance voided.

During the first Covid lockdown last March, annual checks were put on hold and drivers whose certificates were due to expire before July 31 were given a six-month extension.

However, the UK Government has now declared MOT and servicing centres are an essential service and remain open.

It has said that tests should be booked as usual, but those who are isolating, shielding or have Covid-19 symptoms must not travel to an MOT centre. There are separate procedures for Northern Ireland.

The AA said drivers who were furloughed or working from home might be tempted to let their MOT expire, with the intention of renewing it only when lockdown restrictions were lifted.

Jack Cousens, the head of roads policy for the AA, said: “The MOT centres are still open, so people should still get them done; that way you’ll have the vehicle ready if there’s an emergency situation and you need it.”

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said most car insurance policies required a valid MOT but, even when this was not the case, drivers would need to ensure their vehicles were maintained.

The ABI said: “Safety is paramount and it is illegal to drive a car in a dangerous condition, so make sure to check your brakes, tyres and lights before driving.”