Drivers have been warned they still need to keep their MoT certificates up to date despite the latest coronavirus lockdown in force across the UK. The AA has reminded motorists that unlike the spring 2020 lockdown, there are no extensions for the annual road safety certificates this time around.

When lockdown was first announced in March 2020, the government quickly provided assurance that cars with MOTs expiring during the lockdown period would be granted automatic six-month extensions, essentially making MoTs valid for 18 months, rather than the usual 12. The move was broadly welcomed at the time, but as restrictions were lifted in the summer, some campaigners suggested the test extensions should stop.

However, the AA has made it clear to drivers that extensions are not being granted as part of the current lockdown, which came into force on January 5 and will not be lifted until at least February 15. However, with a new Covid-19 variant running riot across the country, there are fears this lockdown could continue into the spring.

MOT testing station sign in the UK

For those staying at home during the lockdown, the AA has warned that inactivity may be bad for the vehicle’s health, and maintenance throughout the lockdown period could prove beneficial when the car is used again later this year. The AA’s head of roads policy, Jack Cousens, said cars left idle could suffer from battery issues, brake problems and flat tyres.

“With many people either working from home or furloughed, some drivers may be tempted to just let their vehicle bypass the MoT date and only arrange it when they think lockdown restrictions will be eased,” he said. “However, cars parked up for long periods of time can lead to issues such as battery faults, seized brakes and flat tyres. These are just some of the reasons why it is just as important, if not more so, to keep your car regularly maintained.”

Man checking car tyre

And Cousens said drivers should also keep their cars serviced to normal schedules where possible, as vehicles under warranty will still need to be maintained regularly to keep the warranty valid. He also said early preventative action during lockdown could prevent big bills further down the line.

“There will be no MoT extension this time around, so car owners will need to ensure they fulfil their usual maintenance commitments,” he said. “Likewise, servicing timescales still apply to keep a vehicle under warranty. Action throughout the lockdown could mean people can avoid a larger repair bill just as they want to start using their car again.”