MoT exemption granted amid coronavirus pandemic

| 25 Mar 2020
Expert advice to keep your classic car safe and legal during the coronavirus pandemic

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The British government has today announced that vehicle owners will be granted a six-month reprieve from MoT testing.

This means that all cars, vans and motorcycles which usually need an MoT test will be exempted from this, from 30 March.

However, the government underlines that bringing new laws into force takes time, so drivers whose cars’ MoTs expire before Monday 30 March, and who must use their car, will have to get it tested for it to be legal, and that if you’re self-isolating and suffering from coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, you should not take your car for an MoT.

If your car’s MoT expires in this window and you can’t take it to be tested, the Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police, so people aren’t unfairly penalised for events they can’t control.

Ensure your car is kept in good, roadworthy condition
Ensure your car is kept in good, roadworthy condition

It is important that all cars – classic or otherwise – are maintained in a roadworthy condition. Drivers can still be prosecuted and subject to a fine of up to £2500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points if they are on the road in a vehicle that’s unsafe.

Of course, classic cars more than 40 years old don’t need an MoT, but if this is your everyday car, it’s important this is kept in fine fettle in case it’s required for an emergency journey.

The government has released advice on keeping your car in good condition and there are further tips on our ‘How to…’ pages.

Should you require further assistance, garages will remain open for essential repair work.

If you need to have work carried out, contact the garage in advance and plan how you are going to interact with staff before you leave home, for everyone’s safety.

There’s also the option of a mobile mechanic coming to you – but, again, plan the process in advance.

In a higher risk group, such as being over 70, pregnant or suffering from other conditions? Ask someone else to deliver and collect your classic, or use a mobile service.

Most business will accept remote payments.

And while garage staff are wearing protective clothing and taking every precaution, if you’ve had to have work done, when you get your car back, disinfect the car keys, doorhandles, steering wheel, gearlever and so on, to be safe.

In addition, online car-maintenance firm Fixter is helping vulnerable Londoners over 65 by letting them request the delivery of essential items when their cars are collected and returned.

Disinfect your classic car’s keys when you get them back
Disinfect your classic car’s keys when you get them back

“We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID-19 are able to do so,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“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.”

Once introduced on 30 March, the legislation will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations.

Of course, the official advice is simply to stay at home unless essential, or an emergency – click here for the government’s full guidance.

Images: Olgun Kordal/John Bradshaw


MoT exemption changes 2018: 13 things you need to know

Classic & Sports Car and COVID-19: a word from the Editor

Classic & Sports Car’s ‘How to…’ guides