MOT Delay Could Leave 1.6 Million Unsafe Cars On Roads

Fri 12th Jun 2020

There were five million fewer cars put through their MOT between April and May compared to the previous year due coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The decision by the government to allow a six month extension to all cars due for an MOT will have allowed many to observe strict ‘stay at home’ messages, but according to DVSA figures 33 per cent of cars fail a test at the first time due to ‘major’ or ‘dangerous’ defects.
Just 750,000 cars were taken in for an MOT during April 2020, and though that rose to 1.4million cars in May, the figures were still significantly lower than the same months in 2019.

Remote areas of Scotland were the postcodes with the largest drop in MOT tests, with Outer Hebrides, Inverness and Lerwick all experiencing a 70% drop. Wales also saw big drop with Llandrindod Wells and Swansea down, though both Scotland and Wales have endured stricter lockdown restrictions than England. South West and East London were the areas in England which saw the largest drop.

Alex Buttle CEO of website Motorway, which published the figures, said: “There could be a number of reasons why numbers were even higher in May, but certainly with lockdown restrictions eased further, and people venturing further from home for days out; general maintenance and safety issues are likely to have been at the forefront of many drivers' minds.

“The cost of an MOT test is small compared to the human cost if you're driving a car that has a serious fault or defect, and many of us have our vehicles serviced at the same time as the MOT, which could flag up mechanical and safety issues that need to be addressed urgently.

“For those motorists with older vehicles, which tend to be more susceptible to problems due to wear and tear, they might be wise to stick to their original MOT date to give it a full check and service. It will give them the peace of mind that it's in good condition and mechanically sound at the present time.”