Millions of motorists across the UK are being warned to check their MOT dates, with the coronavirus extension set to expire in less than four weeks.
Consumer expert Martin Lewis said anyone whose car check was due between March 30 and July 31 automatically qualified for a six month extension, but unlike payment holidays on loans and mortgages, this will not be extended.
The six month extension applies from the date your MOT was due, he explained.
As a result, not everyone will have to book their MOT next month.
“If it was due on July 17, you won’t have to do book your check until January 17,” Martin said on tonight’s Money Show.
“It’s important to know the rules,” he said, adding that the six month break on MOTs comes to an end on July 31.
“If your MOT falls after this date, you will need to book it straight away.
“Remember, though, your car only qualifies for the extension if it’s roadworthy. If it’s not, you must have it checked.”
Car MOT tests will be mandatory again in Britain from August 1, the government announced this week.
Drivers due for the annual check-up between March 30 and July 31 have had their expiry date extended by six months to curb the spread of the virus.
But extensions will not apply to anyone with an MOT date after August 1, ministers announced.
That means if your car’s MOT is due up to and including July 31, you still have it automatically extended by six months and that has not changed.
But if your car, motorcycle or van’s MOT is due on August 1 or later, there is no extension policy and you should book an MOT as normal.
Some garages remained open throughout the coronavirus outbreak and MOT tests have already started again.
Roger Griggs, communications director for Kwik Fit, said: “Our data has shown that for every week the extension remains in place, more than 150,000 unroadworthy vehicles are being given a free pass, with around a third of those having dangerous defects.
“It is vital for road safety that these cars receive a physical check as soon as possible.
“We urge drivers not to rely on an automatic extension, especially as everyone starts to clock up more miles as the lockdown is eased.”
AA president Edmund King added: “It makes sense to reintroduce MOT testing from 1 August 2020 now that Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted and all garages and dealerships are open.
“Car traffic is on the increase already and will grow as more drivers return to the road with the re-opening of hospitality and travel with their families for ‘staycation’ holidays.
“The extension was a pragmatic move to help drivers in self isolation but as services resume we agree that reintroducing the MOT with good advance notice will help drivers and make our roads safer.”