Covid-19 and the Changes to MOTs for cars, motorcycles and light vans by Aaron & Partners
DVSA have announced that from 30 March 2020, any cars, motorcycles or light vans will have their MOT due dates extended by 6 months. While the extension is in place, the DVSA systems will recognise that the existing MOT certificate is valid, so that these vehicles can continue to be taxed.
Vehicles should be taxed online at gov.uk, or over the telephone 0300 1234 32 where possible. Vehicles should only be taxed using the post office facilities if that journey is essential.
What you need to do
Vehicles with MOT expiry dates on or before 29 March 2020
Different rules apply to vehicles with an MOT certificate which expired on 29 March 2020 or earlier. The steps which you need to take next depend on whether or not you have symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid19).
If your MOT certificate/tax disk has expired, you must only drive your vehicle to/from a repair or to an arranged MOT test.
You are not self isolating or deemed “vulnerable” for health reasons
You should book your MOT as soon as possible. Garages and MOT test centres are able to stay open for this purpose. This applies to vehicles which have failed their MOTs, as well as those certificates that have expired.
You should only book your MOT if you need to use your vehicle for essential travel, either to/from work, to shop for basic necessities or for medical supplies. Once the MOT is done, you will be able to download your vehicle’s certificate when checking your vehicle’s MOT history. In an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, you will not be provided with a paper copy.
You or a member of your household has symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid19)
You must follow Public Health England guidance and self isolate. The DfT are currently working with insurers and the police to ensure that motorists are not unfairly penalised during this time.
In the meantime, if your vehicle’s tax is due to expire before an MOT can be done, you should register the vehicle as off the road. You can do this if the following apply; your vehicle’s MOT has, or is due to run out, your tax is due to run out and you cannot arrange an MOT as you are self isolating. If all of these factors apply, you should register your vehicle as off road (SORN); https://www.gov.uk/make-a-sorn.
Once you are able to stop self isolating, you should arrange your vehicle’s tax and MOT as soon as possible.
You are “vulnerable” to Coronavirus (Covid19)
You must follow Public Health England guidance and remain at home without face-to-face contact (“shielding”). You should not arrange your vehicle’s MOT during this time. The DfT are currently working with insurers and the police to ensure that motorists are not unfairly penalised during this time.
If your vehicle’s MOT falls due while you are shielding, you should follow the steps outlined above to SORN your vehicle.
When you no longer need to be shielding, you should arrange your vehicle’s tax and MOT as soon as possible.
Vehicles with expiry dates on or after 30 March 2020
All MOT certificates on cars, motorcycles, vans and other light vehicles will be automatically extended for 6 months and no action is needed from you to affect this change. You must however maintain your vehicle and ensure that it remains safe to drive. This applies to vehicles which are due their first MOT test as well as those with existing certificates which are due to expire.
The updated MOT due date for your vehicle should show on your MOT history from the day it should have become due. You can check this here https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history. In an effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid19), the DVLA will not be producing paper MOT certificates. It is therefore important that you check the link above.
Once the MOT expiry date has been updated, you will be able to tax your vehicle.
Ensuring your vehicle is safe (“roadworthy”)
The obligation to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy remains while the MOT certificate is extended. A failure to do so could result in a £2,500 fine and 3 points on your licence, if the vehicle is driven whilst not roadworthy. The government is allowing garages to remain open for repairs.
For LGV operator licence holders who also run small commercial vehicles (vans) while those smaller vehicles (those under 3.5 tonnes) are not subject to operator licensing they can be stopped by the DVSA or Police and issued with roadworthiness prohibitions if found to be un-roadworthy. The issue of such a prohibition will go against your operator’s licence even though that vehicle is not specified on your licence so it is particularly important to ensure such vehicles are well maintained and should, as a matter of best practice, be the subject of a driver’s daily walk around inspection.
Details of how to maintain vehicles in a roadworthy condition can be found here https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-safe and here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/annex-6-vehicle-maintenance-safety-and-security.
If you wish to discuss further, please contact Tim Culpin, Head of Transport on 01244 405533 / 07776 210621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.