What to do if your car or motorcycle MoT is due | UK Coronavirus update

The UK government and DVLA has issued new advice on what to do if your car or motorcycle MoT is due to expire during Coronavirus…


UPDATE: The DVLA has issued revised dates for the MoT exemption period: only vehicles with MoTs due between 30 March and 31 July 2020 will receive a six month extension. If your motorcycle, car, light van or other light vehicle I due its MoT on or after 1st August, you must book an MoT as usual.

The DVLA and UK government has issued guidance on what to do if your motorcycle or car MoT is due while the country is in lockdown during Coronavirus Covid-19.

While all non-essential journeys are now banned, meaning leisure rides are – for now at least – not possible, there are still many key workers in essential jobs like health and social care, education and childcare, food shops and production, utilities, transport, government and security who need to use their motorcycle and cars to get to work. Not to mention those who need to travel to get food…


Quick advice links

What to do if your car or motorcycle MoT is due BEFORE 30th March 2020

What to do if your car or motorcycle MoT is due AFTER 29th March 2020

What if my car or motorcycle fails its MoT?

What happens if my vehicle tax runs out?

What to do if your vehicle tax runs out while you’re self-isolating

What if my insurance is due while the country is in lockdown?


What to do if your car or motorcycle MoT is due BEFORE 30th March 2020

MoT’s that are booked to take place up to and including 29th March 2020 will still take place, though of course do check with the garage that’s carrying out the work.

However, if you’re in the UK government’s extremely vulnerable group you must NOT take your vehicle. The Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to ensure you’re not unfairly penalised for not being able to get an MoT.

As long as you’re not self-isolating, you can book your motorcycle or car into any MoT test centre that’s open, up to and including 29th March 2020.

You MUST observe the social distancing advice that means people should keep at least two meters away from each-other. The garage you’re visiting should have made it possible for people to keep away and not wait in groups, and there should be hand washing / hand sanitising facilities available. It’s recommended to wear gloves when going outside, and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly at all times.


What to do if your car or motorcycle MoT is due AFTER 29th March 2020

If your car or motorcycle’s MoT is due in the 12 months ON or AFTER 30th March 2020, it will automatically be extended by six months. The UK government is granting an exemption to all cars and motorcycles, which will see their MoT expiry dates extended by six months. For example, if your MoT was due to expire on 21st April 2020, it would become due on 21st October 2020. You can check your MoT due date by visiting the DVLA MoT history checker.

If your MoT is due to expire on or after 1 August 2020, you must book your vehicle in for a test as usual.

If your motorcycle or car MoT expired before 30th March, or the vehicle was SORN, you WILL NOT get an extension – it only applies to vehicles that have a valid MoT in place, which expires AFTER 29th March 2020.

Regardless of whether your MoT due date has been extended or not, you must still keep your car or motorcycle in a roadworthy state, meaning it must be safe to ride or drive. Every time you use your vehicle, you should make the following checks:

  • Check that the brakes work
  • Check the tyre pressures
  • Check that all lights and indicators work
  • Check that the windscreen, windows and mirrors are clean 


The tyres must also have the correct tread depth across the middle three quarters, all the way around:

  • Motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles must show 1mm of tread depth
  • Mopeds only need to have visible tread (though for safety’s sake, we’d recommend the 1mm rule)
  • Cars, light vans and light trailers must have 1.6mm of tread depth 


You should also make the following checks to your motorcycle or car:

  • Check the engine oil level and top up if necessary
  • Check the coolant level
  • Check the condition of the battery
  • Check the windscreen wash levels on cars

You can read guides on home maintenance at Bennetts BikeSocial by visiting our bike maintenance pages. Your vehicle’s road worthiness is YOUR responsibility, and you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and receive three penalty points for riding or driving a vehicle that’s in a dangerous condition.


What if my car or motorcycle fails its MoT?

If your car or motorcycle fails its MoT, you will NOT get an automatic extension – you must still find an open garage that will carry out a new MoT once the repairs have been made. You can read the rules that apply to MoTs by visiting Bennetts BikeSocial’s guide to MoT law.


What happens if my vehicle tax runs out?

Your motorcycle and car’s road tax will NOT be extended, so you’ll still need to tax your vehicle once the MoT due date has been updated, or your vehicle has had its MoT.


What to do if your vehicle tax runs out while you’re self-isolating

In order to tax your motorcycle or car, you must have a valid MoT. If you’re self-isolating, and can’t get the vehicle tested, you’ll have to register your vehicle as SORN (which means it must be kept fully off the road).

When you no longer need to self-isolate, you must NOT drive your vehicle until it has passed an MoT, which you’ll need to book. Once it has passed, you’ll need to tax it. The government is allowing MoT centres and garages to remain open during the pandemic, so you can still get an MoT for your car or motorcycle if you need it for essential journeys, which include:

  • Shopping for basic necessities (food and medicine) as infrequently as possible
  • Any medical need, to provide care, or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travel to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home


What if my insurance is due while the country is in lockdown?

If your motorcycle or car is being used, it must be insured. If you don’t use it for essential journeys and don’t intend to ride it, remember that there is still a risk of theft, so motorcycle insurance or car insurance is still recommended. You can read our in-depth testing and advice on motorcycle security here.

These are extremely difficult times for everyone. If you’re still using your bike for essential journeys, while there should be fewer vehicles on the road, remember that other drivers could well be suffering from stress bought on by family and career worries. Keep calm, keep your distance and please, stay safe.

And remember… we will get through this, so keep on top of your bike’s maintenance, and keep it ready for what promises to be some of the most eagerly awaited rides we’ve all had!


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