Drivers in Doncaster warned they could face £1,000 fine within weeks after rule change

Doncaster drivers will be battling to book their MOT test from this week, as garages face a six-month backlog from the coronavirus lockdown.

By Kian Rains
Thursday, 8th October 2020, 7:44 am
Traffic drives through heavy rain on the M5 (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Traffic drives through heavy rain on the M5 (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

According to new research from Confused.com, nearly one in three or 29 per cent of drivers – equivalent to almost 12 million cars – will have been eligible for the MOT holiday. Of these, nearly two in five – or four million – drivers made use of the extension, meaning they now must book their car in for an MOT within the next couple of months.

The MOT holiday granted by the government meant that any car due for an MOT between the end of March and the beginning of August was eligible for a six-month extension.

More than 22 per cent of UK drivers who weren’t eligible for the MOT extension already have their MOT scheduled before the end of the year – equating to nine million tests that will be carried out.

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However, an additional one million more drivers are now also due to take their car for an MOT in October alone, on top of the 3.6 million tests already due this month.

Garages and MOT test centres will be under pressure to fulfil these tests, as well as all the other tests that also fall due within the same period.

Drivers who aren’t booking ahead of time could risk letting their MOT certificate become invalid if they can’t find a slot quickly enough.

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, said: “The MOT holiday was a great way to help drivers keep their car on the road during lockdown, without the risk of invalidating their insurance.

“However, with so many people making use of the holiday, there will be a lot of pressure on garages now to keep up with the tests. Make sure you’re booking with plenty of time, so you don’t risk driving without a valid MOT.

“Carrying out a few checks on the car will increase your chance of passing without any issues. If you’re confused about how you can do this, we’ve created a checklist to keeping your car roadworthy.”

Driving without a valid MOT carries a penalty of up to £1,000 and could invalidate a car insurance policy, and worryingly, 12 per cent of UK drivers have driven without a valid MOT in the past – of these, the majority had forgotten the due date.

One in six drivers do not typically receive reminders of the upcoming test, leaving them more at risk of driving without a valid MOT certificate.

Data from the DVSA revealed that bald or defective tyres accounted for the most ‘dangerous’ faults between April and September last year.

Worryingly, nearly a third of drivers will only check their tyres every couple of months and more than 15 per cent admit they’ve never checked their tyres at all.

There are several checks that a driver should carry out before heading to the garage, including checking the lights, registration plate, wheels and tyres – they’re all easy to check and to fix, but if ignored, they could lead to a failed MOT.

Confused.com has now created a checklist to keep your car roadworthy.

To view the checklist, click here.