MANDATORY MOT tests are set to start again from August 1 as coronavirus restrictions are lifted, the government has announced.

During lockdown ministers handed motorists a six months extension for MOTs that needed to be renewed from the end of March.

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The extension was imposed so that fewer people went to mechanics to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But on August 1, the extension is coming to an end meaning drivers need to make sure their car has an MOT certificate to be road legal.

This applies to motorists with an MOT due on or after this date.

Cars, vans and motorbikes due between March 30 and July 31 will still be eligible for the six month break – provided they are kept in a road worthy condition.

If you're eligible, your MOT expiry date will automatically be extended by six months.

 

People are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement.

Drivers can still be prosecuted if they drive unsafe vehicles.

If you do, you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points.

Only some garages remained open to conduct essential services during lockdown, but now over 90 per cent are open, the Department for Transport said.

Testing capacity has also already reached 70 per cent of normal levels and is steadily increasing, it added.

Drivers who are vulnerable or self-isolating should contact their local garage for advice.

Some are offering pick-up and drop-off services, so drivers can get their car checked without having to visit a garage.

If you can't take your vehicle for its MOT and your vehicle tax is due to run out, you can register it as off the road (SORN) on the GOV.UK website.

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Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe.

"That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

“Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Edmund King, president of AA, said: "It makes sense to reintroduce MOT testing from 1 August 2020 now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted and all garages and dealerships are open.

"Car traffic is on the increase already and will grow as more drivers return to the road with the re-opening of hospitality and travel with their families for ‘staycation’ holidays.

"The extension was a pragmatic move to help drivers in self isolation but as services resume we agree that reintroducing the MOT with good advance notice will help drivers and make our roads safer."

Martin Lewis recently told millions to check driving licences as motorists were given an extension to renew expiring cards.

Meanwhile, motorists were a few months ago warned that making non-essential journeys could void their insurance.

Plus, be aware of the MOT loophole that can get you a £2,500 fine, three penalty points and even a driving ban under tough regulations.

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