Posted: 25.03.20 at 09:49 by Nick Hudson
Drivers in Atherstone and district today received some cheering news to lift their spirits – MOT tests are being suspended from March 30.
The Government has announced this morning the annual inspections are to being mothballed for six months in the wake of the coronavirus crsisis.
Motorists with an expiring MoT before Monday, who need to use their vehicle, will need to get it tested to stay legal on the road.
And the message is slightly confusing in that the Department of Transport says it is a six month exemption, but a spokesman suggested that the scheme will run for 12 months – meaning that if you need an MOT at any time in the next year, you will get a six month exemption!
The statement issued on Wednesday read: "Vehicle owners to be granted MoT exemption in battle against coronavirus
"Cars, motorcycles and vans to be granted MoT exemption. This will allow people to carry on with essential travel. Vehicles must be kept in roadworthy condition
"Vehicle owners will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.
"All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID19 are able to do so.
“Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people get essential food and medicine.
“Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work.
"Legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into place, if they need to use it.
"If you can’t get an MoT that’s due because you’re in self-isolation, the Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to ensure people aren’t unfairly penalised for things out of their control.
"Practical driving tests and annual testing for lorries, buses and coaches have been suspended for up to three months."
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