MOT tests will come to an end for vehicles which were due an exam on or after 1 August with no further extensions set to be offered. However, the sudden changes could catch motorists unaware which could lead to hefty consequences, according to an expert at Stephensons Solicitors.
Paul Loughlin, a solicitor specialising in motoring law at the firm warned an urgency to get out on the roads could “come back to bite” motorists.
He said: “With the easing of lockdown restrictions, there can be an overwhelming urge to jump in our cars and travel anywhere other than being cooped up at home.
“However, that sense of urgency can come back to bite, particularly if you’re found to be driving without a valid MOT or driving a dangerous vehicle.
“The government’s decision to reintroduce mandatory testing from 1 August 2020 means that if your MOT is due on or after that date, you must book your vehicle in to be tested as usual.
Drivers may be issued fines for breaking new MOT rules
Drivers who do not have an insurance policy in place have also been warned by the solicitor.
Motorists may have decided to cancel an agreement to save on costs during lockdown or may have applied for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to bring down premium prices.
He said that “obligations around insurance have not changed” during the lockdown, warning motorists can still be issued charges for breaking the rules.
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Anyone caught using their vehicles without cover could receive a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points on their licence.
However, if a case goes to court motorists may face an unlimited fine and between six and eight penalty points.
He has also warned motorists could even be disqualified from driving under some severe circumstances.
Data from the DVSA has previously shown that MOT extensions could have led to an extra 1.6million unsafe cars on UK roads.
This is because it is predicted that five million vehicles have not been tested while analysis shows 33 percent fail on their first test.
Mr Loughlin warns motorists that their safety could also be at risk alongside financial loss.
He said: “There is so much going on at the moment that it can be easy to prioritise other areas.
“However, the cost of inaction can be so much greater, not only financially but also in respect of your safety and that of any passengers.”
Alongside making sure their MOT is in pace, Mr Loughlin has also urged drivers to ensure their vehicle is correctly taxed.
He says the DVLA monitors those failing to pay tax and can easily identify vehicles who may be offending.
Those who do not pay the correct vehicle tax are likely to receive a fixed penalty of £80 which can be reduced by half if paid within 28 days.
However, failure to pay this could result in cases being taken to court where penalties can also be increased.
In this situation, motorists may be forced to pay £1,000 fines while cars may be clamped or seized in some cases.