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The 6-month MOT Extension and Why it is Dangerous

Stuart Ross |

In late March, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a six-month extension for drivers whose cars are due for the MOT after March 30th. In other words, if you were due a test in, say, early April, then that has now been pushed back six months. No need to head to the garage. Sounds good, right? Alas, not everyone is on board.

Who is against the measure?

The measure is part of the government’s strategy to deal with the spread of coronavirus, but groups such as the Independent Garage Association (IGA) have expressed grave concerns. According to the IGA, millions of motorists skipping their MoT simply means a potentially deadly spike of unroadworthy vehicles littering our roads for at least the next 6 months.

The IGA points out that right now, about 31 percent of vehicles fail the MoT test. This future could represent as many as 10 million vehicles. Since the blanket extension applies to all drivers due for the test after March 30th, it follows that some 30 percent or more of the vehicles on the road after that date may be dangerously defective. This has several very serious implications.

Impact on Road Safety

Driving on public roads is a kind of social contract. We agree to follow certain rules in order to have a safe environment for all. One of those rules is a regular MoT test, which passes or fails cars as roadworthy according to stringent criteria. Exempting people from the test for fear of possible coronavirus infection is dooming millions of us to take a gamble every time we use the road.

Anyone of us out there driving could be part of that unroadworthy third of vehicles. It endangers not only us but any passengers we have in the vehicle, other road users and even pedestrians.

Impact on Local Garages

Experts claim that around 80 percent of the country’s total MoT tests are carried out by local independent garages. For these businesses, MoT tests are a kind of “bread and butter” business that pays the day-to-day costs of running their enterprise. The extension, therefore, has some pretty scary implications for them.

According to the IGA, the loss of business is likely to have a “detrimental impact on the independent sector.” Such regular cashflow is something many take for granted, but in the age of the coronavirus, we see how that can be swept away at the stroke of a government minister’s pen.

Focus on What’s Right

At the end of the day, safety should be the paramount consideration for all of us. The coronavirus pandemic is a deadly phenomenon, but our NHS does not need the potentially thousands of additional victims of defective cars being added to their existing burden. With proper precautions, there is no reason you cannot safely deliver your car for its MoT as scheduled. Let’s not create new problems. Contact us today about your MoT in Paisley.