MOT test
2020 could prove to be a year of records for many reasons, most of them bad. Included in this prediction is the number of UK motorists caught out for driving without a valid MOT certificate, or failing the MOT test. Various factors have combined to make a perfect storm when it comes to vehicle violations, and the availability of failure figures under freedom of information has already highlighted some worrying statistics. As 2020 moves into 2021, this wave of bad news looks set to continue; read on to see how you can avoid being a bad statistic.

Effect of new rules

The first set of bad news figures came early in the year, just before the Covid 19 pandemic hit and motorists received a welcome 6 months period of grace for their MOT renewals. March 2017 had seen a record high of new car registrations, meaning that those cars were due their first MOTs in March 2020. In the meantime, new regulations were introduced in 2018 to improve roadworthiness and emissions levels.

Sadly, the combination of these two facts, obtained via a freedom of information request, resulted in a record 68,000 illegal vehicles using the UK’s roads by March 2020. This is likely to be the tip of the iceberg; experts reckon that the “caught” figure is actually only 20% of those driving vehicles with expired MOT certificates. Even so, it represents 100 motorists per day facing fines, points on their licences, and even bans.

Broken down further, the reasons for these numbers are also quite revealing. About 22% of drivers surveyed admitted to driving without a valid MOT because they’d forgotten their renewal date. Around 7% had no idea when that date was; and an honest 15% admitted they did know, but did nothing about it.

Backlog to add to troubles

The record high figures shown here relate to those motorists caught before the lockdown and the subsequent 6 months exemption. That exemption ended up being 4 months, which itself is starting to feed through into new testing figures. Because the vast majority of those offered the extension took it, these drivers have now been caught short by two months, whether they realise it or not.

As motorists rush to have their MOT tests, garages are already reporting a high number of failures due to the new rules introduced in 2018. Vehicles kept in storage for 4 months are falling down on emissions, safety and roadworthiness, often due to not having been driven for such a long period of time. On top of this, the backlog of testing is certain to mean thousands of motorists miss their renewal deadline before the end of 2020. All in all, this could be a record year for failed or missed MOTs, which is bad news for Britain’s road users.

Book a test without delay

For all of these reasons, it makes sense to check your renewal date, and book an MOT test as soon as possible. Using the online tools means this is now easier than ever, and could make the difference between missing your renewal date or failing completely.