9 August 2021
More than five and a half million cars legally delayed their MOT during the coronavirus lockdown, according to the AA*.
A fifth (20%**) of drivers used the extension granted during the height of the pandemic, with drivers in Northern Ireland (71%) and the North East (23%) the regions that most used the deferral.
AA Smart Care is warning of ‘Super September’, the month where most MOT extensions fall causing a flurry of MOT bookings as the delayed vehicles mix with vehicles usually due their MOT in the month.
Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
Servicing shunned by young and low income homes
The study also found that three quarters (75%) of drivers put their vehicle in for a full service every year, whereas a fifth (19%) service their vehicle but less frequently than once a year.
One in 16 (6%) drivers say they do not put their vehicle through a full service, with younger drivers and low income households the least likely to do so (18-24 year olds = 14%, C2DE = 21%). Arguably, these are the two car owner groups who would most benefit from regular servicing as they own older cars. A regular service would keep costs down and potentially hold off a catastrophic repair bill.
Usually people leave booking their MOT to the last possible moment, drivers won’t have that luxury this time.
AA Smart Care***, offers drivers a low cost MOT rate of £39.85 and allows bookings up to 90 days in advance. Servicing costs start from £72 and uses a network of local AA approved garages that offer collection and drop-off services for contactless, Covid-safe vehicle maintenance.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said; “With more than 5.5 million cars deferring an MOT it is crucial that they are tested to ensure they are safe to use.
“MOT centres are already feeling the strain and with ‘Super September’ looming, savvy drivers can get ahead of the game.
“Don’t delay, book today. With a bookings up to 90 days in advance, all drivers can use AA Smart Care to find trusted local garages to keep their vehicle on the road.
“Usually people leave booking their MOT to the last possible moment, drivers won’t have that luxury this time.”
* Figures taken from VEH0211
** AA Yonder driver poll, July 2021, 14,688 respondents.
20% of drivers said they used the Covid MOT extension. 28.2 million cars eligible for a MOT (vehicles under 3 years and registered before 1981 are MOT exempt)
20% of 28.2 million = 5.6 million