Vehicle owners will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.
All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID19 are able to do so.
“Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people get essential food and medicine. Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work.”
Legislation will be introduced on 30 March and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into place, if they need to use it.
Where a driver cannot get an MOT that is due because they are in self-isolation, the Department for Transport (DfT) is working with insurers and the police to ensure people are not unfairly penalised.
Practical driving tests and annual testing for lorries, buses and coaches have been suspended for up to three months.
The DfT said that people should stay at home and avoid travel, with the only reasons people should leave their homes being as set out in the government guidance.
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