Published: 09:58, 25 March 2020
| Updated: 10:24, 25 March 2020
Drivers will not have to get an MOT test for their vehicles for six months under new exemption rules announced by the government.
The Department for Transport (DfT) today said all vehicle owners will be granted the special dispensation from Monday.
Driving tests and testing for lorries, buses and coaches have also been suspended for three months.
Garages will remain open to ensure all vehicles are "kept in a roadworthy condition" which drivers still have responsibility to ensure, the government said.
It means all cars, vans and motorcycles which would normally require an MOT from March 30 will have the requirement deferred for six months under a new law which will remain in place for 12 months.
Drivers can still be prosecuted if their vehicles are unsafe and the government says mechanics will remain open for "essential repair work".
The DfT reiterated the government's message that everyone must stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat Covid-19 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.”
"Allowing this temporary exemption will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue"
The new law will come into force on March 30 after the government held talks with the motoring industry.
Any vehicle which is due an MOT before Monday will still need to be tested, the government confirmed.
The DfT is discussing measures with insurers and the police for those who are currently in self-isolation and are not allowed out.
This will try to protect people from being unfairly penalised for situations out of their control, the government said.
Anyone who needs to get their vehicle tested before the new rules next week must observe the two-metre social distancing rules towards fellow customers and staff.
More by this authorMatt Leclere