From 1 August, the mandatory MOT was reintroduced for British motorists. Before this, the Department for Transport reacted to the pandemic by extending the MOT expiry dates for all cars by six months. Since then, there has been an update to the testing rules, so drivers who had tests due from 1 August onwards have to book in as normal for their test.
But what if you’re someone whose MOT was due between March and 31 July? You still have a six-month extension on the original date. So, if you were meant to get it tested on 31 July, your MOT is now due on 31 January 2021.
While you might not be heading for the MOT for a while, you’re still responsible for making sure your motor is roadworthy. You can still go to the garage if there is an issue before your MOT is due, but in the meantime, there are checks you need to run to keep your car safe. Here’s a look at the checklist of the key things you need to be aware of.
You’re responsible for making sure you have quality car tyres that are the right thickness. These should have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm in order for them to be legal to drive on. You can run a simple check on this by placing a 20p piece in the tread groove of your tyre. If you can’t see the outer band of the coin when it’s in place, your tread is above the legal limit.
If your car doesn’t pass the 20p test, you’ll need to consider replacing the tyre. Check all four to be certain and research trusted providers to make sure you’re getting quality replacements.
Keeping up with these checks is crucial. Car safety charity, TyreSafe, states that this period between MOT tests mean now more than ever, we need to keep on top of tyre pressures and tread depths.
Is your registration plate easy to read? Make sure it’s secure and correctly formatted too. You need to make sure your vehicle is identifiable at all times.
It might be a while since you last had a passenger in your car. Lockdown saw empty roads and hardly any of us making car journeys. But now that we’re all able to go out again, we might all be taking journeys with family members, so we need to make sure our seatbelts are secure and work properly.
Steering, suspension and brakes
As part of the MOT, testers look out for steering, suspension, and brakes. Do an emergency stop somewhere safe, such as an empty car park, to work out how responsive your brakes are and see how smoothly you can steer your motor, too.
The finer details
Double check your wipers and lights, too. These are simple checks you can run yourself that can be inexpensive to repair and could keep you safe.
If you think you might need to get your car checked before your MOT is due, call your local garage and see what procedures they have in place to make sure you’re all keeping Covid-safe. Mechanics are still checking cars over and it’s best to make sure you’re driving a vehicle that’s not dangerous.