Get your MOT done as soon as you can to avoid leaving your safety to chance, is the message from the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, as a new poll indicates one in seven people plan to make full use of the six-month Coronavirus (COVID-19) MOT extension.
With thousands of vehicles passing their MOT test due date every day, IAM RoadSmart has expressed concern that a minority of drivers and riders are putting their own and other people’s lives at risk by putting off the annual expert check on their vehicle’s fitness for the road.
The poll, by RAC Approved Garages, indicates 14% of those surveyed intend to take full advantage of the six-month MOT extension for all cars, vans and motorcycles in Britain, introduced by the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) from 30 March as the lockdown began nationwide. Drivers and riders in Northern Ireland have been given a one-year exemption.
Department for Transport (DfT) figures for 2018 show 39 people died and 378 were seriously injured in crashes on Britain’s roads where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor in 2018.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s Director of Policy and Research, said: “Delaying your MOT test longer than you have to is a false economy and one which potentially puts lives at risk on our roads.
“If you wait longer than you need to, you not only risk a mechanical problem but face a potential delay in getting your MOT test done as the backlog created by the relaxation of the rules leads to inevitable delays and hassle trying to get a booking that fits your needs.
“Vehicle maintenance checks are something we should all be doing weekly. During lockdown they have been a good way to keep on top of the basics. But hard to check areas such as brakes and emissions need to be assessed by a garage. A clean bill of health given by an MOT station is a good starting point for your own regular safety checks.
“Getting your MoT test done sooner rather than later will give you peace of mind. If you have gone past your renewal date, it is your responsibility to ensure the car is fit to be driven. Many relatively new vehicles can fail their first MOT test on safety critical items such as brakes and tyres so it’s always best to safe not sorry. Misplaced confidence in the roadworthiness of your vehicle could cost lives.
“It may well save you money on expensive repairs in the long run and it could enhance the value of your car if you decide to trade in or take advantage of the much talked about scrappage schemes that may be coming along soon.
Neil added: “It’s also worth remembering that although the government has extended the MoT for many, the scheme may change again as we slowly emerge from lockdown so take action now and make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the road again.”
You can check your car’s MoT status online at https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-status.
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For advice on basic vehicle checks you can undertake regularly yourself, see our recent tips here.
You can also see our POWDERY checks video here.