The Covid-19 pandemic caused a great deal of disruption to many aspects of our lives. During the strict lockdown in the UK, the government announced an MOT extension as many drivers were unable to take their vehicles to a garage for their annual safety checks during this time.
However, the six-month extension granted by the government will begin to expire in October, and many mechanics are concerned that they’ll see a significant spike in demand for MOTs at this time.
The Buxton Advertiser shared research conducted by Halfords Autocentres, which is predicting that demand for MOTs will spike by 85 per cent in October.
This will mean that 1.7 million additional MOTs need to be carried out in that month alone, on top of the two million that are usually conducted at this time of the year.
As a result, many are calling on drivers who have taken advantage of the MOT extension to book their vehicles in for their road safety inspection sooner rather than later to avoid being caught out in a bottle neck come October and the later months of the year.
Andy Randall, managing director of Halfords Autocentres, commented: “Our research shows that almost half of motorists are worried about the roadworthiness of other cars on the road so those that get their cars done can be much more confident that their cars are properly roadworthy.”
Before you take your car to a garage for its MOT, it’s always worth carrying out some basic checks and maintenance to make sure that you don’t fail on something small that would have been easy for you to fix.
A chip in the windscreen, for example, can often be easily replaced and if for any reason that’s not the case, you can make time to arrange windscreen replacement in the UK before your MOT.
As the Mirror recently pointed out, there’s another excellent reason to make sure you book your car in for its MOT in good time, which is the significant fines for driving with an expired MOT.
Due to lockdown, motorists haven’t had to worry about this in recent months, but as of 1 August, anyone driving a vehicle with an expired MOT certificate will be liable for a fine of up to £2,500 if they are pulled over.
If you were granted an MOT extension, this will mean your car doesn’t have an expired certificate. However, there is a danger that you might forget when your MOT is due if you’re not careful and with such a hefty financial penalty for making this mistake, it’s certainly worth getting your vehicle booked in sooner rather than later.
Paul Loughlin, solicitor and specialist in motoring law at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, explained that fines will be introduced for vehicles that are without a valid MOT certificate from 1 August. That means if your MOT is due on or after this date, you need to book it in as normal because you won’t be granted a six-month extension.
“There’s so much going on at the moment that it can be easy to prioritise other areas. However, the cost of inaction can be so much greater, not only financially but also in respect of your safety and that of any passengers,” he told the newspaper.