After Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced third national Lockdown starting from January 5th,2021, the AA warned drivers to keep their vehicles serviced, and MOT’d during the Lockdown 3.
MOT stations, vehicle servicing, and repair centres are essential-retail, therefore are open during Lockdown 3. The reminder puts more emphasis on MOT and the service of vehicles not frequently used than those that run regularly.
Read below for further information regarding Lockdown 3, car servicing, MOT, vehicle check, and more.
When did Lockdown 3 start in England?
Boris Johnson announced on January 4th, 2021 that the nation would observe yet another lockdown effective from the following day, i.e. January 5th. The reason behind this Lockdown is the significant increase in COVID-19 cases and the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.
All non-essential retail and educational institutions will remain closed under the new lockdown regime.
For how long we can expect the Lockdown to remain?
The third national Lockdown is likely to remain in place till the mid of February. However, safety precautions like social distancing and wearing masks are likely to last for the larger part of 2021.
What does lockdown 3 mean for MOT?
You still need to take an MOT test during the third national Lockdown. Driving a car without a valid MOT can result in a severe penalty. We recommend booking an MOT even before the expiry to avoid any hassle.
Do service centres and MOT stations open during the Lockdown?
Yes, MOT and vehicle service and repair centres are an essential service, thus will remain open throughout the Lockdown. However, understand that an increase in appointments due to the previous lockdowns has overloaded most MOTcentres’ work.
How to book an MOT online?
You can book an MOT test online through the DVA website. Once you make an appointment, you will have to share the booking reference number with the selected test centre to get the date and time. The MOTcentre issues an appointment notice after confirming the booking.
Another way to book an MOT online is through apps like AA Smart Care. You can choose an AA approved garage near you through the application for a hassle-free MOT test. The AA also picks up the vehicle and delivers it back to the driver at no cost.
Besides, you can book your MOT with us through our partner Fixter.
How to book an MOT through telephone?
You can book an MOT test in lockdown through the telephone by dialling the booking line (0345 247 2471). Please note that the booking line opens from 8 am – 5 pm Monday to Thursday, and 8 am- 1 pm on Friday.
How much does an MOT test cost?
The MOT cost depends on the vehicle class and the vehicle’s age at the time of MOT. MOT test for cars that hold up to 8 passenger seats cost a maximum fee of £54.85, while for a standard motorcycle it costs £29.65.
How long does an MOT take and what do you need to bring?
An MOT examination typically takes around 45 minutes to an hour to complete. However, the time you drop your vehicle is not when the analysis might start due to other appointments in progress at the garage.
When appearing for an MOT test, you must have the appointment letter, vehicle registration document, and the latest MOT certificate, if you have one.
Why is an MOT test necessary?
An MOT test certifies that your car meets the minimum road safety and environmental standards. Nevertheless, during the Lockdown, an MOT’s need is even more pronounced as vehicles remained parked for too long.
It can lead to many issues such as burnt out clutches, weak brakes,flat tyres, and faulty battery. An MOT test ensures you are safe against such problems.
Can you expect an MOT extension?
Unlike the Lockdown in March 2020, an MOT extension is highly improbable. It is advisable to book your spot for an MOT examination as quickly as possible. Many garages are still feeling the backlog’s effect due to the extension awarded last year.
Is it safe to get an MOT test during the Lockdown?
Although MOT and vehicle maintenance are an essential service, you must ensure your safety. All MOT and service centres must follow strict COVID-safety measures, including social distancing and sanitising.
Guidelines further ask for MOT centres to use dispensable seat covers and gloves for every test and clean every touchable object and surface.
What are the benefits of an MOT test at this time?
Even in the Lockdown, you might have to leave your house for essential shopping or to get to work. We recommend keeping your vehicle serviced and book an MOT test in lockdown as soon as possible. It is because many garages are facing a backlog of appointments due to the extension granted for MOT in the previous lockdowns.
The third national Lockdown would create a surge in service appointments and MOT tests. To avoid full slots at nearly every garage, book an MOT test in advance.
What if you are driving without an MOT?
When pulled over by the police, and not showing a valid copy of your MOT certificate, you can face severe consequences. While the law may let you off with a warning at first, driving without an MOT certificate can cost you a fine of up to £1,000.
You could also face charges of £2,500 if your van is ‘un-roadworthy,’ and 3 points issued on your driving licence. If you already hold points on your licence, even the poor vehicle condition, such as a broken light, you may end up getting a driving ban of up to two years.
What about your car insurance without an MOT?
Your insurance is no longer valid in the majority of the cases if your MOT expires. In the event of an accident, you have to pay for the repairs yourself and compensate the other party if the incident was your fault.
Driving without valid insurance is also illegal. It means when driving without an insurance cover, you can face an unlimited fine, 6 to 8 points on your driving licence. Furthermore, the authorities can even disqualify from driving.
Going for car service and buying car parts during the Lockdown?
For car service, you can book your garage online on via phone. Moreover, visit our car parts section to purchase various high-quality vehicle components such as oil filters, brake pads, engine parts, fluids, batteries, oil, electric accessories, and so on. During the Lockdown, benefit from a convenient online car part buying service without having to go out for purchase.
Our partner also offers discounted car parts with a commitment to provide high-quality products. Stay safe, buy from the comfort of your place, and save big.
In simple words, your vehicle is a commodity that needs to follow the same legal obligations and the same care you give it in normal days. In Lockdown, we require extra vigilance about its servicing, maintenance, and MOT. We recommend you book our free car check before buying your next ride to be sure you are not purchasing a dud.