WITH mandatory MOT testing returning next month, local garages are urging vehicle owners to think ahead and book their MOTs sooner rather than later.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government granted drivers a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March, to help slow the spread of the virus.
However, from next month, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1st August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.
Drivers with an MOT due date before 1st August will still receive a 6-month exemption from testing – but local garages say that if possible, drivers should avoid using the exemption and book their MOT as soon as possible to ensure that their vehicle is safe and roadworthy.
Adam Doel from M-Tech Automotive told White Horse News, “Get your MOT done as soon as possible, and as close to the original date of your MOT as possible. An extra six months is a long time for a vehicle to be on the road – and yes a lot of these cars will have been off the road for the majority of lockdown, but the only way to know that your car is safe and roadworthy is by having an MOT.”
Mike at GP MOT & Service Centre added, “One grey area that drivers using the 6-month exemption is the issue of insurance. It’s not clear where you stand with insurance companies if you were to have an accident – unless you can prove that the car was roadworthy, perhaps with a recent service – then you may struggle to make a claim.
“Also, when the time goes for those using the exemption to book an MOT, we expect it to be really busy, so you may struggle to get an appointment.
“So if you can, book your MOT as close as possible to the date of your original MOT – stick to it for safety and insurance reasons, and to keep your car on the road.”
Robyn Bailey from KS Motors Wiltshire Ltd – who hope to offer an MOT service in the near future, pending approval from the DVSA – said, “We advise drivers not to put off their MOTs – your tyres and brakes may be worn, and there may be other problems that you are unaware of.”
With an expected rise in the number of visitors to local garages, business owners have introduced a number of measures to ensure that staff and customers are safe, and the risk of the spread of the virus is reduced.
Adam from M-Tech Automotive said, “We are operating with social distancing rules. And cars are fully wiped down before and after appointments – and we also use covers for seats, steering wheels, handbrakes and gearsticks. MOTs are also by appointment only, so we can limit the number of people on site.”
Mike at GP MOT & Service Centre said, “We have made changes to the reception area, and are only allowing two people in at a time. And we have hand sanitiser available. We use seat covers and floor mats during the MOT, and staff wear gloves and wipe down the car with Dettol before and after.”
HARVEY’S AUTO-TECH LTD
Contact: Doug & Becky Harvey (calling back)
AUTOCADE MOTOR SERVICES
Contact: Mr Dave Story
Call on Thursday