Your guide to the MOT grace period

Whether your car is covered by the MOT extension period or not, we recommend that you book your MOT early to secure a space and stay safe on the roads.

The government’s advice to stay at home during the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak caused concern among drivers whose vehicles required an MOT. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) therefore agreed to change the legal requirements for an MOT during the pandemic, leading to what is known as the ‘MOT grace period’.

In the following guide, we take a look at this temporary MOT extension, what it means for drivers, and what you need to do if your car, van or motorcycle is due for its MOT soon.

What is the MOT extension period?

The government has extended MOT expiry dates by six months because of the coronavirus outbreak. This temporary MOT extension applies to cars, vans and motorcycles with MOTs that were due to expire between 30 March and 31 July 2020.

If your vehicle meets these criteria, then your current MOT certificate will be automatically extended by six months. This will be done about seven days before your certificate is due to expire.

Can I still book an MOT if I want to?

At Halfords, we believe that an MOT and a service is the best way to ensure your car is roadworthy. This is why we recommend every driver gets an MOT when it’s due, regardless of whether you qualify for the MOT extension or not.

Research shows that almost 1 in 10 cars are dangerous to drive due to having at least one serious defect – flaws that are routinely identified during an MOT. If you can't be 100% confident your car is safe, then Halfords is there for you.

You can book an MOT online today and choose from over 300 Halfords Autocentres where our expert technicians will give you the peace of mind that your car is safe to drive.

If you're worried about visiting us, you don't need to be. We've introduced a number of procedures to ensure your protection and our safety while your car has an MOT or is being serviced.

When is the MOT grace period due to end?

The MOT grace period covers vehicles with MOTs that are due to expire between 30 March and 31 July 2020. Vehicles that fall into this category will have their MOT expiry dates extended by six months.

If your MOT is due to expire on or after 1 August 2020, then you won’t be covered by the MOT grace period. You’ll therefore need to book an MOT before your current certificate expires.

What are the benefits of booking my MOT now?

With the grace period coming to an end on 31 July 2020, more and more drivers will be looking to book their MOTs and we’re expecting record demand for MOTs from September.

To ensure that you’re able to keep your car roadworthy and get an appointment when you need it, don’t delay and book your vehicle in for an MOT today.

What are the benefits of getting an MOT and service at the same time?

Booking an MOT and service together will save you time and money. Our full service and major service packages offer savings of up to £39.85, which makes them better value than a main dealer service for all makes and models.

Combining the two will also help to keep you even safer on the road. During a service, our technicians will replace the parts and essential fluids that keep your car moving, dramatically reducing your likelihood of breaking down. In addition, they’ll only use original-equipment (OE) or equivalent parts and fluids while caring for your car.

Most manufacturers recommend that you should service your car annually. Not only will this keep your car running better for longer, but a complete service history will also help you achieve the best price if you decide to sell it.

Will I be safe if I bring my car for an MOT or service?

Yes. We've introduced a number of procedures to ensure your safety and our protection.

In our garages, these include only allowing one customer into our reception at any one point and maintaining social distancing rules all times. You’ll also be asked to leave the site while we carry out any work.

If my vehicle’s not due for its MOT yet, how else can I keep it roadworthy?

A vehicle must be roadworthy in order for it to be driven on a public road. The rules regarding this (which can be found in The Highway Code), still remain in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

What this means is that it’s your responsibility to monitor the condition of your car, van or motorcycle outside of your MOTs and services. You need to undertake essential checks on the tyres, bulbs, wipers, batteries and more to ensure that it’s roadworthy

To help you with this, we’ve put together guides on how to avoid getting a flat battery, and how to prepare your car for life after lockdown. You might also find our advice on checking brake pads useful.

Our motoring advice centre is full of useful information and advice on the sort of checks that you can do at home. And you can pick up all your motoring essentials online, click and collect to your local store or have them delivered to your door for free when you spend over £40.

Driving an unsafe road vehicle is an offence that could see you fined up to £2,500 and receive penalty points on your licence. So stay safe and smart by keeping your vehicle roadworthy and your MOT up-to-date.