- By admin
- In maintence
The MOT In A Time Of Crisis
In 1960, the then Minister of Transport, a man called Ernest Marples, did at least have one good idea during his tenure in office and that was to introduce the MOT test for cars. It was very basic: Brakes, lights and steering and even then only when the vehicle was ten years old and every year subsequently. It obviously goes without saying that the failure rate was very high indeed and the need for such a test was accepted by motorists, if grudgingly. A year later this was reduced to seven years and subsequently three.
Even though today’s vehicles are far better made and considerably more reliable, the MOT test remains and is more draconian than ever but it makes absolute sense. Although it may cause car owners financial pain, it does beg the question, ‘how many lives have been saved because of it’? That in itself is a good enough reason.
The MOT Test Today
When the day comes that a vehicle needs testing car owners are at least at liberty to use whichever MOT testing station they choose. Most responsible independent garages offer this service and the check is applied rigorously on or before the due date. Almost all aspects of a vehicle are checked and assessed and advice is given. It is good to know that once a car leaves the MOT testing garage it is as safe as it can be, the driver notwithstanding.
Unfortunately, as everyone everywhere now knows, our nation is crippled by the dreadful circulating virus. It has disrupted all our lives yet we still have to be conscious of our responsibilities day to day. Thankfully common sense has prevailed when it comes to the MOT test and some leeway is now being allowed. That said, anyone who owns a car that is evidently faulty is still required to get it attended to.
The MOT During The Coronavirus Crisis
Car owners whose vehicles are currently due for a MOT test will automatically get a six-month extension. Thus, a test that was due on 1 April will automatically be extended until 1 October. This is automatic and no paperwork will be issued. This emergency exception applies to all but especially to motorists if they are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus or living with someone who is vulnerable to the disease. The thinking is that this will help to stop the spread of the virus and also ensure that essential key workers can stay on the road. Any vehicle that failed a test before the 30 March will be required to be corrected as normal.
That’s not to say though that vehicle owners benefiting from this period of grace do not still have a responsibility to ensure their cars are in a safe and roadworthy condition, including making sure all lights are working, and that tyres have sufficient tread depth with no visible defects.
Considered to be part of the network of essential services, garages and MOT centres are permitted to stay open during the current lock down. There is the caveat though that we all have a responsibility to keep our distance and help protect those garage technicians from harm. Any owners unsure about their MOT test or how to arrange for one should contact us to find out more. Owners can still be prosecuted for operating an unsafe motor.
With a current failure rate of about a third of all vehicles tested, there is a danger however that some motors may fall into a potentially state of dangerous disrepair and the Independent Garage Association have expressed concern about the financial health of garages in the interim through loss of revenue, something it is hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer will address in his emergency package.
Additionally, there is a worry of a backlog of MOT tests at the end of the exception period, assuming things have returned to some semblance of order. The IGA have expressed their concerns to the Government and have suggested that some degree of flexibility be administered to avoid putting undue financial strain on providers of garage services.
All drivers have a responsibility to ensure their cars are roadworthy, not just in this time of crisis but at all times. As mentioned above, anyone who is in any doubt should contact us for advice. We are here to help.