Drivers are being urged to get their cars MOT tested this summer to avoid the rush as thousands look to get their vehicles tested after making use of the six-month coronavirus extension.

The scheme, which draws to a close on August 1, was put into place to allow key workers to keep moving during the coronavirus pandemic without having to put their cars through the MOT test. Applied automatically, it granted a six-month extension to any vehicle with an MOT set to expire between March 30 and July 31.

However, a new survey by the RAC has found that nearly all of its network of approved garages are expecting demand to increase from October when the first cars that automatically qualified for the extension will require testing.

By October, 70 per cent of these members anticipate significantly more demand, which could result in drivers finding it difficult to book their cars in for an MOT.

Despite the extension being automatic, drivers do not have to follow it, as cars can still be MOT’d as normal.

Adam O’Neill, RAC head of motoring services, said: “In many ways this is an ideal time for people to get their cars booked in for an MOT – whether they’ve already taken advantage of the automatic extension or not. Our garages have yet to see demand return to pre-lockdown levels, but if drivers wait until the autumn they’ll be trying to arrange MOTs at the same time as hundreds of thousands of others.

“Understandably, demand for MOTs and servicing fell sharply after the coronavirus lockdown as garages closed and the government instructed all of us to stay at home. But as the lockdown has started to be eased, drivers may be left wondering whether now is the right time to be getting their cars checked over, or whether making use of the MOT extension is the best course of action.

“The message from us is simple – our garages are fully open and all are operating to our COVID-19 Code of Conduct to help keep customers and staff safe. And with seven-in-10 offering a Collect-and-Return service, reducing interaction with garage staff, drivers needn’t be put off from getting MOTs, servicing or other maintenance work completed.”


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