Mandatory MOTs to be reintroduced for vehicles in Britain from August 1

Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Mandatory MOTs for vehicles in Britain are being reintroduced amid safety concerns.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said vehicles which are due to take the test from August 1 will need to pass it to stay on the road.

A six-month exemption has been in place since March 30 as part of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The policy has led to anxiety about vehicle safety, with a recent poll by retailer Halfords indicating that 45% of motorists were worried about the condition of other vehicles.

Nearly one in three cars fail the MOT.

Baroness Vere said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe.

“That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

“Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon as they can.”

Vehicle owners with an MOT due date before August 1 will still receive a six-month exemption.

In normal circumstances, vehicles must have an MOT on the third anniversary of their registration, and then every 12 months.

A number of vehicle parts are checked to ensure they meet legal standards, such as lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes.

Vehicles must also be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition even after they have passed the MOT or been given an extension.

Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

AA president Edmund King said: “It makes sense to reintroduce MOT testing from August 1 now that Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted and all garages and dealerships are open.

“Car traffic is on the increase already and will grow as more drivers return to the road with the reopening of hospitality and travel with their families for staycation holidays.”

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “The key thing about the return to the normal testing cycle is for it to be clearly communicated to vehicle owners.

“We welcome the five-week notice period which should give drivers plenty of time to book an appointment and get back into the annual testing regime.”

Baroness Vere’s announcement does not apply to Northern Ireland, where drivers have been given a 12-month exemption from the test.