There has been a high-demand to cancel the six month MOT extension but currently, there are no planned changes to the rules.

Despite garages up and down the country re-opening, the six month MOT extension remains in place, for now.

Is the six-month extension going to be cancelled?

Possibly, but this is dependant on a number of factors.

With garages re-opening, the trade is calling for the extension to be scrapped. Despite the legislation being put in place early in the COVID-19 crisis, it is proving a little difficult to undo.

The IGA (Independent Garage Association) says dangerous cars are being driven around on the roads.

“A third of all MOTs fail, and many for dangerous defects, pointing to the fact that most drivers don’t care for their cars, but there are issues with cancelling the extension now”.

How does the MOT extension work?

Currently, the MOT extension is running from March 30, 20, to March 29, 21, with any vehicles due an MOT in that time period given an extension of six-months.

Anyone with an MOT due during the current 12-month timeframe automatically gets an extension of six-months but it is only issued seven days before the MOT is due.

Why aren’t the government ending the MOT extension?

In a letter to the Independent Garage Association in May, the transport secretary said that they needed to work out, “how to cope with the spike in demand that could come in six-months time”.

If the extension is cancelled now it will mean all those who were due an MOT in April, May and June would need to have their MOTs at the same time as all the usual vehicles needing one in September, October and November.

Garages simply won’t be able to cope with this high-demand on top of the usual bookings and that could mean drivers are forced to store their vehicles until they can get book an MOT.

What happens if I decide to get an MOT my vehicle fails?

The DVSA issued an update in May that stated if any drivers have an MOT carried out during the extension period and their vehicle fails then they will lose the right to an automatic six-month extension.

That means if you decide to get an MOT anyway or miss the fact that you have been entitled to one, and then subsequently have your car tested and it fails you will lose the right to an extension completely.

What are garages telling their customers?

Customers should have their vehicles tested now. Not only will this mean that your vehicle is checked for safety, but you won’t have to deal with a rush at the same time as everyone else.

Garages have been hit hard by the lockdown and support from motorists now is important. It’s also vital to remember that the MOT is a safety check and that it is designed to ensure your car is roadworthy.

Bald tyres are one of the most common MOT failures. If you’re caught with a bald tyre you face three points for every tyre that is under the limit. That means you could lose your licence in one go if all four are under the limit.

How does the government intend to fix the potential for a spike in MOTs?

More than three-point-five million MOTs have not been carried out in April and May which could potentially put pressure on garages, in September and October. We’re now into June, which means November will be affected too.

The government needs to be sure that there is sufficient capacity to deal with this spike otherwise drivers may be left without a vehicle because they cannot get it booked in for a test. Until they solve that dilemma the chances are the MOT extension will remain in place.

Is there a chance the MOT extension will run the whole year?

Yes, there’s a chance that might happen. However, that would mean potentially dangerous cars are allowed to remain on the roads for even longer, which could be dangerous.

Having said this, it could be an easy option the government chooses.

What is the official word from the government?

‘An update will be provided in due course,’ said a spokesperson for the government, and they would not specify a timescale of when it could be cancelled.

Baroness Vere, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport, told the House of Lords that the MOT exemption is ‘under constant review’.

“The duration of the changes remains under review and, if no longer required, this instrument will be amended to bring forward the last day on which a six-month exclusion can begin”.

An update to the legislation was made in May by the DVSA which specifies that if a driver has an MOT carried out during this period and the car fails they will lose the right to a six-month extension.

The government highlights that vehicles should remain roadworthy, even if they are given an MOT extension.