Click Here to Book a Service

MOT News January 2022

Why you need to book your MOT early this year

DRIVERS were given a grace period for their MOTs in 2020, but that's now over, causing a backlog of motorists needing one.

With the number of drivers scheduling their MOTs on the rise, it's best to get your car checked as quickly as you can report Jasmine Butler in The Sun.

An MOT test needs to be done on every vehicle, every year.

Failing to do so could result in £1,000, and could cause a hazard to other drivers on the road.

An MOT determines whether your car is safe to drive on the roads and if it fails, your garage will recommend what to fix so it can pass the next MOT.

You can renew your MOT for up to one month (minus a day) before your MOT date.

For example, if your MOT is due April 15, you can renew it from 16 March and still keep the renewal date of April 15 for the following year.

If you want to renew your MOT any earlier, it is possible but your renewal date for the following year will change to the new date.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced a four-month extension for MOTs which ran out between March 29 and July 31, 2020.

Drivers were warned in late 2021 to get their MOTs booked as soon as possible due to the extension.

There was a backlog of 12 million MOTs from September to December, 2021.

Chris Lunn, Category Manager at Halfords Autocentres said: “Following the MOT extension announced by the government on 29th March 2020, we saw a dramatic shift in MOT bookings throughout 2021 as almost nine million motorists were given a 6-month extension from their MOT expiry.

"This meant that there was unprecedented demand from September through December in 2020 and 2021.

"Whilst this is slowly returning back to pre-pandemic levels, January to March remains a really busy time of year with April to May being quieter."

Many car garages expect the backlog to continue into 2022, but not just due to the four-month grace period.

Garages are struggling with staffing levels just to people being off ill and having to isolate themselves due to coronavirus infections.

Chris said: "We’d always recommend customers plan ahead when booking their MOT.

"Around 70% of our customers book just one week ahead of their appointment and this can lead to disappointment.

"Customers should also bear in mind that bookings will get busier from July, so it may be better to book in a few weeks ahead of the expiry.

"Remember, you can book your MOT a month minus a day before the expiry date and still preserve your renewal date.”

Being caught without your MOT may just lead to a police caution and told to go get one as soon as possible.

It's always wise to keep your car up to the MOT standard so you don't get a £1,000 fine.

Motorists 'lack confidence' to check MOT history when buying second-hand cars

MOT TESTS and service history is only checked by half of road users who buy a used car, according to new research from AA Cars, and reported in the Express.co.uk by Luke Chillingsworth.

The data found just 54 percent check MOT documents and service history while only 26 percent carry out a history check. Experts warn drivers “lack confidence” in their ability to “judge a car's condition” which could be a risk for road users.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars said inspections “enable customers to buy with confidence”.

He said: “Our research shows that a significant number of consumers lack confidence in their ability to judge a car’s condition before they drive away.

“Dealers that sell cars which have been independently inspected therefore hold a distinct advantage over their competitors.

“It enables their customers to buy with confidence, happy in the knowledge the car they want has already been carefully checked over.

“We know that vehicle inspections offer drivers valuable peace of mind about the car they are buying.

“It provides a full picture of its condition, how safe it is to drive and whether there are likely to be any expensive repairs in the near future.

“Previous AA Cars research found that more than 70 percent of drivers would make a purchasing decision more quickly knowing that a car had been independently inspected.”

The AA poll of more than 15,000 drivers found most failed to carry out even basic checks when purchasing a car.

Motorists warned of huge £2,500 fine & licence points for missing basic maintenance check

MOTORISTS risk enormous fines and penalty points on their licence for a basic maintenance issue which many drivers could unknowingly be experiencing, report Felix Reeves for Express.co.uk

Drivers are being urged to check their vehicle before setting off or they could face heavy fines for breaking the Road Traffic Act. Wiper blades are incredibly important by keeping windscreens clear so people can drive safely with full visibility.

Much like other parts of a car, failure to replace ineffective, worn out or faulty wiper blades increases the chances of being involved in an accident.

Government guidance on windscreen wipers states that: “All wipers and washers which are required to be fitted must be properly adjusted and maintained in efficient working order.”

The Highway Code sets out that using a vehicle in a dangerous condition can lead to fines of £2,500 and three penalty points, although unlimited fines are available for LGV drivers.

Failure to have proper control of a vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead comes with a £1,000 fine and three penalty points.

Drivers can also be hit with a discretionary disqualification.

Michael Bourne, Group Marketing Director of National Tyres, warned drivers to check their cars for the sake of their own safety.

He said: “Windscreen wipers are pivotal to safety and being able to see those around you, yet there are so many people unaware of how important it is to keep them in the best possible condition.

“The last thing a driver wants is to realise their visibility is compromised by defective windscreen wipers when they’re travelling at speed or when the weather suddenly turns bad.

Driver without insurance or MOT slapped with £300 fine, six licence points, and car seized

Police: 'This BMW was stopped because the owner reported their number plates stolen', reports Barry Ellams for the local press.

A BMW driver caught by police without insurance and MOT has had a 6 points penalty on their licence, £300 fine and car seized.

Thames Valley Police stopped the vehicle as the driver had reported their own number plates stolen but officers spotted that the BMW owner driving the vehicle had no insurance or MOT.

The car was towed away and the driver was penalised

Thames Valley Police tweeted at 1.30 am: "This BMW was stopped because the owner reported their number plates stolen. Unfortunately, the owner was driving and didn't have insurance or an MOT.

"His vehicle was seized and he was issued with a £300 fine with 6 points on his licence.”

Audi with no MOT and door held shut with bungee cord seized

AN AUDI with no MOT, car tax and a damaged door held partially shut with a bungee cord was seized by police reports Katy Griffin for local journals.

The vehicle did not have a current keeper and police say it was found blocking a dropped kerb - preventing access to a driveway needed by disabled visitors.

Officers from Ringwood Police also found evidence of recent off-road use and hare coursing in the vehicle.

A post on the Ringwood Police Facebook page said: "Uninsured Audi with no MOT, car tax or current keeper, with rear passenger door broken and held partially shut with bungee cord seized in Bransgore after being found blocking dropped kerb preventing access to driveway needed by disabled visitor.

"Spare catapult slingshots and bags of ball bearings found on the passenger seat with evidence of recent off-road use and hare coursing."

'Greedy' mechanic banned from MOT testing for fraud

Jamie Smith claimed to have completed the test and issued a pass certificate for a Mercedes-Benz C van at a garage in West Yorkshire when it had been seized by Spanish police for not having valid tax or MOT report Nick Frame for Wakefield Express.

The van was one of nine vehicles Smith falsely issued MOT certificates for.

Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) notified the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) on June 2 last year to make them aware that a vehicle they suspected was in Spain had been issued a MOT in the UK.

Spanish Police confirmed the vehicle had been seized and impounded at the time of the MOT.

Part of the investigation also involved a search of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) network between the dates the vehicle was supposedly tested. The search provided no hits of the vehicle being on the UK road network at the time.

The vehicle was actually in a compound over 1,200 miles away from where it was supposed to have been tested on May 24, 2021.

Further investigations revealed that there were a further eight vehicles, including four vans, which had been issued MOT certificates by Smith, without ever having been at the garage.

The certificates were issued between January 15 and June 5, 2021.

Having initially denied the offences, when presented with the evidence, Smith admitted to the counts and to having received payment for the fraudulent MOTs.

Smith was sentenced to a 12-month community order to include 50 hours of unpaid work, a curfew from 7am to 7am for two months and ordered to pay full costs totalling £1,620 at Kirklees Magistrates Court.

He was also given the full five-year cessation by the DVSA, banning him from testing vehicles.

MOT test checks if vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards.

Most MOTs are carried out by around 60,000 privately employed nominated MOT testers carrying out tests in around 23,000 testing stations around Great Britain.

The DVSA monitors the industry closely and acts on poor and fraudulent practices.

DVSA’s Caroline Hicks said: “Mr Smith had no way of knowing the condition of the vehicles. His greed put the safety of drivers and the public danger.

We will ensure that anyone who compromises safety in pursuit of personal gain feels the full force of the law.”

About AP Autocare

AP Autocare is probably Bristol's favourite MOT test Centre. With an online appointment system to make booking your MOT easy and the deals and offers on MOT and servicing together - AP Autocare is the garage to get your vehicle MOTd. 

Published: Thursday 20th January 2022