Car owners have been told to book early for their MOT or face disappointment as huge surge in demand is expected in September.
A fifth (20 per cent) of owners used the MOT extension, according to a new survey, which legally allowed them to delay the annual check by an extra six months.
Only cars due for an MOT between March 30 and July 31, 2020, at the height of the pandemic, were eligible for the MOT extension,
Although 80 per cent of car owners chose to MOT their car on time, millions chose to delay.
The AA surveyed 14,688 people and calculates this will result in 5.6m cars needing to be MOT’d over and above normal levels.
It is predicting September will see a dramatic increase in the number of cars requiring an MOT and this will put huge pressure on garages.
Drivers can be fined £1,000 for driving without a valid MOT.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: ‘With more than 5.5 million cars deferring an MOT it is crucial that they are tested to ensure they are safe to use.
‘MOT centres are already feeling the strain and with ‘Super September’ looming, savvy drivers can get ahead of the game.
‘Don’t delay, book today. With a bookings up to 90 days in advance, all drivers can use AA Smart Care to find trusted local garages to keep their vehicle on the road.
‘Usually people leave booking their MOT to the last possible moment, drivers won’t have that luxury this time.’
This echoes Continental Tyres research that showed between 800,000 and 1.2m extra tests would be required between September to December 2021.