Fifteen per cent of vehicles were late for their MOT by the time exemptions ended last August – and by December that figure had risen to just over 28 per cent.
That’s according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which said today (Mar 30) nearly 10 million vehicles were exempted in 2020 because of the pandemic, giving them a different expiry date this year.
The shock figures come a year to the day since the exemptions were issued as the Covid-19 crisis struck.
From March 30 to the end of July 2020, cars, vans and motorcycles in Britain were made eligible for a six-month MOT exemption as lockdown restricted people’s movement.
Vehicle owners are now being urged to sign up for the DVSA’s reminder service via email or text, as they can be fined up to £1,000 for driving without a valid MOT.
Chris Price, the DVSA’s head of MOT policy, said: ‘We know lots of vehicle owners are unsure about when their test is this year. So our free MOT reminder service offers peace of mind they won’t miss their test date.
‘We’re committed to helping people to keep their vehicles safe to drive. Signing up for an MOT reminder is a quick and easy way for motorists to do this.’
However, a YouGov poll of 1,303 UK drivers with a car requiring an MOT discovered that despite the millions of exemptions, most drivers (89 per cent) actually knew the expiry date of the test certificate.
The survey, commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman, showed that men were a few percentage points more likely than women to know the date – 92 per cent against 87 per cent.
The DVSA also warned that motorists may not have received an MOT certificate confirming their new test date because garages had only printed them during the pandemic if necessary.
Other drivers may have bought another vehicle that had an exemption or some could have taken their vehicle off the road.
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