For many road users with new or nearly new cars, an MOT test is something they needn’t worry about until three years have passed from the date that the vehicle was first registered. However, for the large majority of road users who have an older car that has an MOT test looming on the horizon, there are recent changes to legislation that they’ll need to be aware of.

At a time when the UK public are on “lockdown”, some are asking whether they need to (or are even able to) renew the MOT on their car. With many shops, offices and factories already closed, it’s understandable to question whether you’ll be able to find a garage that’s open and, even if you can, are the mechanics able to carry out an MOT test on your vehicle?

So, if your car’s MOT is about to expire soon, here is a brief run-down of what you need to know.

According to the Government’s new rules outlined here for MOTs on cars, vans and motorcycles:

Your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020 – but you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.

The above rule only applies to England, Wales and Scotland and, as you’ll notice in the above statement, your car must be deemed “safe to drive”. That means that even though you can’t renew its MOT test certificate, you’ll still need to keep it “roadworthy”. As things are changing rapidly, please bear in mind that these rules could change so make sure you check to see if they’ve been updated.

Is my car eligible?

Regarding whether or not your car meets the criteria, the page rules go on to say: that your MOT certificate will be extended by 6 months if it was due to expire on or after 30 March 2020 and your vehicle is a:

  • car
  • motorcycle
  • light van
  • other light vehicle

This includes these types of vehicles that are due their first ever MOT test.

What about an MOT that expired before this?

If your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry date was on or before 29 March 2020, the rules are different. You can find out more details here if you’d like to know more, but here is a summary at the time of writing:

If your vehicle’s MOT expired on or before 29 March 2020, you must book an MOT as usual unless either:

  • you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
  • you’re extremely vulnerable from coronavirus

The page goes on to stress “You must stay at home (self-isolate) if either of these situations apply – do not take your vehicle for its MOT”.


We hope you’ve found this post useful and if either of the above scenarios apply to you, please make sure to check the links to make sure that the information on this page is still current. We should also point out that the pages also contain further information regarding Road Tax if this is something you need to find out about too.

Footnote:- This article contains some public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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