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Why you need to book your MOT early this year

DRIVERS were given a grace period for their MOTs in 2020, but that’s now over, causing a backlog of motorists needing one.

With the number of drivers scheduling their MOTs on the rise, it’s best to get your car checked as quick as you can.

MOTs are an essential part of keeping your car safe on the roads


MOTs are an essential part of keeping your car safe on the roadsCredit: Getty

An MOT test needs to be done on every vehicle, every year.

Failing to do so could result in £1,000, and could cause a hazard to other drivers on the road.

An MOT determines whether your car is safe to drive on the roads and if it fails, your garage will recommend what to fix so it can pass the next MOT.

You can renew your MOT up to one month (minus a day) before your MOT date.

For example, if your MOT is due April 15, you can renew it from 16 March and still keep the renewal date of April 15 for the following year.

If you want to renew your MOT any earlier, it is possible but your renewal date for the following year will change to the new date.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced a four month extension for MOTs which ran out between March 29 and July 31, 2020.

Drivers were warned in late 2021 to get their MOTs booked as soon as possible due to the extension.

There was a backlog of 12 million MOTs from September to December, 2021.

Chris Lunn, Category Manager at Halfords Autocentres said: “Following the MOT extension announced by the government on 29th March 2020, we saw a dramatic shift in MOT bookings throughout 2021 as almost nine million motorists were given a 6-month extension from their MOT expiry.

“This meant that there was unprecedented demand from September through December in 2020 and 2021.

“Whilst this is slowly returning back to pre-pandemic levels, January to March remains a really busy time of year with April to May being quieter.”

Many car garages expect the backlog to continue into 2022, but not just due to the four month grace period.

Garages are struggling with staffing levels just to people being off ill and having to isolate due to coronavirus infections.

Chris said: “We’d always recommend customers plan ahead when booking their MOT.

“Around 70% of our customers book just one week ahead of their appointment and this can lead to disappointment.

“Customers should also bear in mind that bookings will get busier from July, so it may be better to book in a few weeks ahead of the expiry.

“Remember, you can book your MOT a month minus a day before the expiry date and still preserve your renewal date.”

Being caught without your MOT may just lead to a police caution and told to go get one as soon as possible.

It’s always wise to keep your car up to the MOT standard so you don’t get an £1,000 fine.

What does MOT stand for?

Can you drive your car to the garage if the MOT has run out?

Here’s how to cut the cost of your cars MOT.

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