British drivers could see the yearly MOT check scrapped under plans that will help ease the cost of living crisis.
Motorists would have to get their car tested every two years instead under proposed changes which could save them up to £55 each year.
The idea is said to have been mooted by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps during a cabinet meeting with other ministers looking for ways to offset cost of living increases for hard-pressed Brits.
We will update this section if the proposal moves forward.
Do electric cars need an MOT?
Electric vehicles will need to pass an MOT test after three years like all other vehicles using public roads - it's all about the vehicle being roadworthy and safe. However, unlike diesel and petrol counterparts, EVs do not require an emissions test.
Will my MOT be extended because of the Omicron variant?
The first Covid lockdown saw expiring MOT test certificates automatically extended by six months, but this ended on 31 July 2020. Despite subsequent lockdowns, the government has not returned to the scheme where certificates are extended.
However, with the Omicron variant proving highly infectious and transmissible, it is possible that the scheme to extend tests could be reinstated if too many MOT test stations are forced to close - but there is no indication from government that this is being considered at this time.
This means, all motorists must ensure their vehicle is covered by a valid MOT test certificate or remove it from the road.
Current MOT advice under Covid restrictions
Official advice is that MOTs must be renewed as normal. However, the Gov.UK website says you must not take the vehicle to a test station in person if:
- you need to quarantine because you recently entered the UK
- you’re self-isolating, for example because you tested positive for COVID-19
Not being able to take the car in for an MOT due to Covid or isolating is not an excuse for not having an MOT and the vehicle must be put on a SORN and taken off public roads until one can be obtained.
Is there an grace period because of the coronavirus pandemic?
The MOT extension - or grace period as it is often referred to - has now ended. Drivers must ensure their vehicle is covered with a valid certificate.
Does my car need a new test certificate during the Covid pandemic or will it get an extension?
Use the following MOT checker for lockdown to see if you'll need to take your vehicle for a test or whether it will be automatically extended.
Date that car's MOT check is due
Automatic extension to MOT due to Covid-19
Car will need MOT test
|1. MOT due on or before 29 March, 2020||No automatic six-month MOT extension||Yes|
|2. MOT due between 30 March, 2020 and 31 July, 2020||Automatic six-month MOT extension||No|
|3. MOT due on or after 1 August, 2020 - 5 January 2021||No automatic six-month MOT extension||Yes|
|4. MOT due on or after 6 January, 2021 onwards||No automatic six-month MOT extension||Yes|
No new extension at the moment as test centres will remain open 2021
The Government has released guidance confirming that MOT test centres will remain open. This mean there will be no new scheme to automatically extend MOTs when they expire.
Please read on for the latest news on getting an MOT during the Covid-19 pandemic.
I am in an area with high numbers of Covid infections - will I get an extension or will I need to take a test?
Currently there are no plans to give MOT extensions in areas affected by local restrictions due to the rise Covid cases causing concern across the UK. This means there will be no new MOT extension scheme and a new test certificate will be needed for all qualifying cars - even if the MOT runs out in an area affected by large numbers of Covid infections.
Are test centres closing during the pandemic?
No, as stated above, the Government is allowing test centres to remain open during 2021.
Where can I get my car tested during the pandemic?
How can I check when my MOT runs out?
Use the government MOT check service to find out right now when your MOT is due. All you need is your registration number for an instant date confirming when your MOT runs out. It's free and takes just a few seconds.
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Are tests going ahead in England, Scotland and Wales during the Covid-19 lockdown and beyond 2021?
The government has updated its advice on MOT centre opening to make it clearer that tests can go ahead in all parts of Great Britain. This includes lockdown 2021. MOT test centres will remain open in:
- Tier 1 to 4 areas and the national lockdown 2021 in England
- protection level 0 to 4 areas and the temporary lockdown in Scotland
- alert level 1 to 4 areas in Wales
Read on to find out what you should do if you need a new MOT for your vehicle during the coronavirus pandemic.
How long were test certificates extended by?
MOT extensions scheme dates explained
1. MOT check due on or before 29 March, 2020
2. Check due between 30 March, 2020 and 31 July, 2020
3. Check due on or after 1 August, 2020 - 5 January 2021
4. Check due on or after 6 January, 2021
Can a test centre refuse to check my car over Covid-19?
Yes. If the MOT test station staff believe customers are displaying signs of Covid-19 and should be isolating, government advice says they can refuse to carry out a test.
Can I wait while my car has its test?
Government advisory information says customers are allowed to wait in the test centre waiting room or viewing area, provided social distancing measures are observed. Test staff and reception workers should wear single-use gloves at al times during tests and customer interactions - such as taking the key fob.
Can I drive without an valid test certificate during lockdown?
No. There are no circumstances in which you can drive without an MOT due to lockdown measures - aside from existing rules where a vehicle can be driven to the test centre.
Events such as self-isolating or illness do not exempt a vehicle from needing to have a valid MOT certificate to be used on public roads. If the vehicle has no MOT it must be removed from public roads - and put on a SORN if it also has no valid road tax (VED).
Sign-up to MOT reminder system to avoid missing renewal date
The number of drivers using cars without a valid MOT test certificate has tripled over the past year as extensions due to the Covid-19 restrictions have left many confused by their new renewal date.
Signing up to the official MOT reminder system could help the millions of motorists who had the test certificate extended avoid being fined - and even driving with invalidated insurance.
From March 30 to the end of July 2020, as lockdown measures curtailed movement, 10 million cars, vans and motorcycles were given a MOT extension for a six-month period.
All of these vehicles will now a have different renewal date for their MOT, increasing the risk of missing the new renewal date.
All test stations listed - find a centre near you
Use this official UK Government list of active MOT test centres to find one near you. Click here to view active MOT test centres.
How can I check when my MOT is due for renewal?
Car owners no longer get paper reminders before their vehicle's MOT is due to run out, but ignorance is not defence in law for driving with an expired test certificate. However, you can check the status and renewal date of your vehicle's MOT with a free online checker. All you need is your car's registration number. Click here to check your MOT and road tax status on the official Gov.uk checker.
When does a car need a test certificate?
You must get an MOT for your car by either:
- The third anniversary of its registration
- The anniversary of its last MOT, if it is more than 3 years old
Did I need to do anything to extend my certificate for six months?
Should I have received a new certificate?
Can I tax my vehicle during the six-month extension?
What about car insurance during the extension or if I need to purchase new cover?
What if I have returned from abroad and self-isolating?
There is no longer any provision for car owners who are self-isolating through displaying symptoms, or returning from a foreign country not on the 'safe' list. Therefore, it would seem the vehicle must be taken off public roads and declared SORN, or taken to an MOT centre by someone who is insured to drive the vehicle and not self-isolating.
A car without an MOT being left on the road could attract a fine of £1,000
Find when my test due date is
How much does an MOT cost?
The following price list is the maximum you should pay for an MOT as published on the You Gov website.
|Vehicle class||Age first MOT needed (years)||Maximum MOT fee|
|Motorcycle (engine size up to 200cc)||1||3||£29.65|
|Motorcycle with sidecar (engine size up to 200cc)||1||3||£37.80|
|Motorcycle (engine size over 200cc)||2||3||£29.65|
|Motorcycle with sidecar (engine size over 200cc)||2||3||£37.80|
|3-wheeled vehicles (up to 450kg unladen weight)||3||3||£37.80|
|3-wheeled vehicles (over 450kg unladen weight)||4||3||£54.85|
|Cars (up to 8 passenger seats)||4||3||£54.85|
|Quads (max unladen weight 400kg - for goods vehicles 550kg and max net power of 15kw)||4||3||£54.85|
|Dual purpose vehicles||4||3||£54.85|
|Private hire and public service vehicles (up to 8 seats)||4||3||£54.85|
|Ambulances and taxis||4||1||£54.85|
|Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (9 to 12 passenger seats)||4||1||£57.30|
|Goods vehicles (up to 3,000kg design gross weight)||4||3||£54.85|
|Class 4 vehicles (9 to 12 passenger seats) with a seat belt installation check||4a||n/a||£64|
|Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (13 to 16 passenger seats)||5||1||£59.55|
|Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (more than 16 passenger seats)||5||1||£80.65|
|Class 5 vehicles (13 to 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check||5a||n/a||£80.50|
|Class 5 vehicles (more than 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check||5a||n/a||£124.50|
|Goods vehicles (over 3,000kg up to 3,500kg design gross weight)||7||3||£58.60|
Will the Police stop me if my vehicle is on an extended certificate?
Can I just keep driving whatever the condition of my vehicle?
Will I get a reminder that my extended test certificate is about to run out?
Does this advice apply to all of the United Kingdom