More than five million vehicles not tested

MoT test deferral - What do I do?

  • More than five million vehicles not tested
  • Thousands of unroadworthy vehicles with potentially dangerous defects
  • Testing backlog predicted in the Winter

To test or not to test, that is the question!

Although if your vehicle’s MoT certificate expired between 30th March and 1st August 2020, you are entitled to postpone it for up to six months, should you?

Let’s look at the numbers

Albeit taken for the best of intentions, the Government’s decision to suspend the need for vehicles that were due their annual MoT tests during this period from having to take one, has highlighted a big problem for motorists, affecting literally millions of them.

According to figures compiled by following a Freedom of Information request, which it submitted to the DVSA, MoT testing dropped 70% during the first two months of the scheme. To put this into perspective, that’s more than five million fewer than in April and May 2019!

Car owners need to be aware that the responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is roadworthy lies entirely with them. But how do they know it is safe to drive? For those who are not motoring enthusiasts – and that’s most drivers in the UK – it is the MoT test that they generally rely on to highlight any problems. So, without having to take one for six months many will be oblivious of any potential safety issue that could be dangerous and need attention.

Estimates from industry trade bodies such as the Independent Garage Association and prominent businesses, including Kwik Fit, concluded that less than two months into the scheme, more than one million vehicles that would normally have taken the test and failed, were already on the road.

Dangerous Defects

With its experience as the UK’s largest MoT tester, even before the midpoint of the scheme, Kwik Fit had estimated that of those million vehicles, more than 316,000 would have failed with dangerous defects. This means motorists are driving vehicles that could have significant safety defects they are completely unaware of, with the potential life threatening consequences that could result. With months of deferral still to run, clearly the number of vehicles affected will grow and the risks to the public increase.

The Answer

With all this evidence, the answer to the original question is, unless you are very confident of your technical competence and are able to accurately assess the condition of your vehicle, the sensible approach is to have it tested as usual.

Another problem that deferring the test is likely to cause is entirely one of convenience. This is because the notice period that motorists will have to give test centres when they do book their cars, is likely to be much longer than usual. This is due to the backlog of vehicles that will need to be tested at the end of the scheme, competing with the vehicles that will be following their normal testing date. This significantly increases the risk of motorists having their vehicle’s MoT certificate expire before they are able to have the test undertaken, which is a criminal offence.

And Finally…

Delaying your MoT test serves only to increase the risk of you driving an unroadworthy vehicle and the time you’ll have to wait when you want one. So don’t delay, book it today!

Article from in the category: Magazine