Update from the UK Government regarding vehicle MOT testing from 30th March 2020…

The UK Government has announced updated guidelines to become effective from 30th March 2020 for those seeking an MOT for cars, vans and motorcycles amid the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Previously, there was some confusion in relation to the MOT with regard to self-isolation and the current Government instruction to only travel for essentials and exercise.

If Your Vehicle Requires an MOT Certificate on or After 30th March

MOT testing UK - COVID-19 (2)

Now, from 30th March if you need an MOT you will get an exemption – or 6-month extension if you prefer; either way you like to describe it, it amounts to the same end result. For example; should your car MOT run out on April 3rd (after the new ruling kicks in) then your MOT will be extended until October 3rd 2020. At this point in time you would then need to proceed with obtaining an MOT as normal. Things are changing almost on a daily basis of course, but this is how things stand on 25th March 2020. We will provide an update should there be any further changes.

This Government ruling also applies to new vehicles about to undergo their first MOT – such vehicles will automatically receive a 6-month exemption. In both circumstances no exemption paperwork will be required or issued.

If your vehicle failed its MOT prior to 30th March, this does not mean that you get a ‘free pass’ for 6-months; such vehicles will still need to pass their MOT before being allowed on the road again.

Click here for more information if your MOT is due after 30th March 2020

If Your Vehicle Requires an MOT Certificate Before 30th March

MOT testing UK - COVID-19 (2)

If your vehicle MOT runs out before the new rulings come into play, then current Government guidelines stipulate that you must book your vehicle in for an MOT, with some clarification.

Click here for more information if your MOT is due before 30th March 2020

Extremely Vulnerable From Coronavirus

The Department of Transport are currently liaising with police forces and insurance companies to ensure that such individuals are not unfairly penalised for doing the right thing and isolating. Here, the instruction is quite clear: do not take your vehicle for an MOT.

Not Self-Isolating

If you are not self-isolating or deemed particularly vulnerable, you may book your car in for its MOT as normal. While some MOT test centres are closed, many remain open at the time of writing, though with this new Government MOT update, this situation may change again.


If you are self-isolating within the timescale of your MOT running and out and a new test being required, then you should seek a SORN declaration. While those of us who have had or own classic vehicles will be fully aware of the SORN document, some of you may not be so familiar. A SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) declares that you have willingly taken your car off the road. In such cases an MOT is not required, but you must not use your vehicle on public roads until it is taxed again. A SORN tells the DVLA that you are not wilfully avoiding an MOT, but that your vehicle is currently off the road – and ‘off the road’ is literal; the car must be in a garage or private driveway and not parked on a public road.

Once your self-isolation period comes to an end, then you may drive your vehicle to a pre-booked MOT test, preferably making sure you have proof of your appointment about your person. You must not drive the vehicle before obtaining a new MOT or before heading out to the MOT test station.

You can drive your vehicle to a repair centre if your MOT has run out with the sole aim of getting repairs done pre-MOT. But it’s worth noting here that if your car is deemed unsafe to be on the road – non-roadworthy – then you should not be driving the vehicle anywhere, in any situation, under any circumstances.

Like What You’ve Read?

For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.

Please note: You cannot subscribe to Motor-Vision unless you put a tick in the checkbox below to indicate have read and agreed to our privacy policy.

Leave a Reply