Due to the unprecedented spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) the UK Transport Secretary announced the extension of all MOTs set to expire on or after March 30th, by 6 months. The announcement came in response to fears that the national lockdown is making it difficult for drivers to book their vehicles in for MOTs and remain legal on the road.
MOTs Prior To Official Extension Dates
The extension only applies to MOTs which expired on or after March 30th – if the MOT was due before that date, but the owner failed to get the vehicle tested, they will still need to get the vehicle tested. In the case of a failed MOT prior to March 30th, an extension will also not be granted, and the vehicle will need to be retested.
Those who are self-isolating may not be able to leave their homes and get their vehicles tested – in such cases it may be a good idea to get in touch with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to explain the situation and ask for advice.
Keeping Your Vehicle Roadworthy
Although the 6-month extension is automatic, there are several rules which vehicle owners must adhere to in order to ensure their vehicle remains safe and road worthy. The government is allowing some garages to remain open during the lockdown for anybody in need of repairs necessary to keep their vehicle roadworthy.
For front-line workers, delivery service workers, those in remote locations etc. being able to drive is essential – in order to ensure your vehicle remains roadworthy, it is a good idea to carry out the following checks before setting out:
- Always gently test the brakes
- Ensure all fluid levels are topped up – including engine coolant, brake fluid, screen-wash etc.
- Check that all lights are in good working order.
- Mirrors should be cleaned to ensure that visibility is good through windows and windscreen.
- All tyres must be above the minimum tread depth required by law. For cars, light vans and trailers this is 1.6mm and for motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger carrying vehicles, it is 1mm. If you suspect that your tyres are below the legally allowed tread depth, you should not drive.
Ensuring your car is in good working order is essential for maintaining smooth operation, minimising the development of any problems and reducing the risk of accidents – something especially important in times such as these where there is considerable pressure on the emergency services.
Under the current situation, most people are being told by the government that they should avoid driving unless it is for one of the defined essential purposes, such as going to work, shopping or for medical reasons. This means for the majority that their cars will be left unused for long periods of time and unused vehicles are more likely to develop problems. For vehicles currently out of use, it is advisable to perform certain checks – preferably on a weekly basis.
It is important to ensure that the brakes are working well as in some cases corrosion of the breaks occurs when the vehicle is left without being driven for extended periods of time.
Leaving the car without use for long periods of time can shorten the life of the battery, depending on the age of the vehicle and where it is parked, it may be a good idea to switch the vehicle on and run the engine for several minutes (never leave a vehicle unattended).
How We Can Help
Longmynd Service Station remains open to assist customers needing essential repair work and to help maintain key workers on the road. For more information, get in touch today.