MOT extension deadline: When do you have to get your car MOTed?

Car garages were allowed to reopen in England on June 1 after being closed in line with Government lockdown rules on March 23. Many remained open throughout the lockdown for essential services on vehicles belonging to key workers and NHS staff.

Every car in the UK is required to have an MOT each year if it is over three years old.

Due to garages being closed, the Government extended the deadline for those with vehicles due an MOT.

If your vehicle was due an MOT during the coronavirus lockdown, the Government has extended the period in which you can get an MOT done by six months.

However, this means you should keep your car roadworthy and safe to drive even if it has passed its expiry date, and should still head to the garage for any repairs that need doing.


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Your MOT certificate will be extended by six months if it was due to expire on or after March 30, 2020 and your vehicle is a:

  • car
  • motorcycle
  • light van
  • other light vehicle

For example, if your car’s MOT was due to expire on May 3, 2020, it will automatically be extended to November 3, 2020, meaning you will need to get your MOT done by this date.

The measure will remain in place for a year, so anyone who’s car MOT runs out between March 30, 2020 and March 29, 2021 has an extra six months to get it renewed.

This means that:

  • your vehicle will still have a valid MOT certificate for an extra six months
  • you can still tax your vehicle – you might need to wait to do this until later in the month if both your MOT and vehicle tax run out this month
  • your insurance will still be valid
  • your vehicle’s record will be updated so the police can see you have a valid MOT

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Although the MOT extension will be a relief to many drivers, Karen Rotberg from BookMyGarage told the MOT extension “may not be as straightforward” as you think.

She said: “With so many cars now going unchecked for over a year, it is imperative that you ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy, for the safety of yourself and others.

“You may also be fined £2,500, with three points on your licence, if caught driving a car deemed unsafe.”

She added: “So how do you make sure it’s safe? Around 20 percent of MOT failures are a result of the vehicle’s lights or signalling issues, other common issues are relating to the windscreen wipers, seat belts and tyre tread.

“These are quite simple to check yourself. But if you are unsure, we recommend having a mechanic check your car for you.

“It has been confirmed that MOTs and routine servicing can still go ahead during this 6 month exemption period.

“We would encourage all key workers and motorists using their cars for essential travel at the moment, who are not sure how safe their vehicle is, to book their car in for an MOT and/or service.

“Most garages are now also offering a ZERO contact collect and return option for further peace of mind.”

To keep your car in good condition whilst waiting for an MOT, you should check tyre pressures once every two weeks and also that the tyre tread depth is above the legally-required 3mm.

You should often check that all your lights are working and that windscreen washer reservoir is topped up.

It is also good to check the oil and coolant levels once a week.

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