DVSA explains 2018 MOT test changes
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Many drivers benefited from an MOT extension during the first lockdown which allowed motorists to continue using their cars for an extra six months. However, the scheme was brought to a close on 31 July 2020 with the last extensions running until the end of January.
No new policy has been put into place for the latest lockdown meaning road users must get a test to avoid being caught out.
Driving without a valid MOT certificate is illegal and could see road users issued a £1,000 fine from police.
William Mackenzie, spokesperson for Arnold Clark Inverness, said drivers must take their car in for a test even if their car was not being used due to the shutdown.
He said the annual road test was a “vital safety check” and should not be put off.
Mr Mackenzie said: “Any car over three years old must have an MOT test every year to be considered road-legal – even if you are not currently using your car.
“Despite being a vital safety check, many of us have a habit of leaving our MOT test to the last minute.
“We’re all using transport less often, so it might be tempting to put an MOT test off, but you never know when you’ll need your car.
“By getting it booked in early, you can be reassured that your car is safe to hit the road whenever you need it.
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“If you are shielding, you are not required by law to update your MOT test certificate.”
Drivers who do not have a valid certificate in place are only allowed to drive their cars from their home to a pre-booked MOT test.
Drivers can also drive their cars to a garage if they are going for repairs which could help the car pass its test.
Police might even ask to see evidence of your appointment to catch out those using their cars illegally.
However, experts at Halfords have warned drivers could even face penalties for driving with a valid certificate if their car is still in a poor condition.
This is a major risk during lockdown with many not using their cars regularly which can lead to damage.
A statement from the car experts said: “The current fine for driving with no MOT is up to £1,000.
“However under the new rules, you could receive a fine of more than double this for driving an unroadworthy car, even if your MOT is still valid.
“The current £1,000 fine stands whether you receive a major fault or continue driving after your MOT is overdue, but the new classification system makes it possible to receive a far higher fine.
“This is because driving a dangerous car carries a £2,500 penalty.
“If your car receives a dangerous classification, you will be unable to drive the vehicle until it’s repaired and tested again – even if your previous MOT is still in date.”
The DVSA warns drivers must use an approved MOT test centre. These are centres showing a blue sign with three triangles.
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