Are garages still open during the second lockdown and can I get an MOT? – The Sun

AS England prepares to go into a second national lockdown from Thursday, motorists may wonder what this means for garages and MOTs.

With the new restrictions set to be in place for just one month, until December 2, the rules are slightly different compared to the first lockdown in March. We explain all you need to know.

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It comes after Boris Johnson confirmed over the weekend that all non-essential businesses will be forced to shut, including clothing and electronics stores as well as hairdressers and restaurants.

Instead, Brits will only be able to go to "essential" retailers such as supermarkets, pharmacists, pet shops, hardware stores, and newsagents.

Are garages open during the second lockdown?

Yes, MOT garages have once again been deemed an "essential service" by the government, which means they'll remain open.

Hours will, however, vary by garage as these are independently owned – so get in touch with your local to find out.

Many garages are also likely to be busier than usual due to a backlog of work caused by the previous lockdown, so it's worth contacting your nearest one early.

Do I need to get my MOT done?

During the first national lockdown, motorists were handed a six-month extension by the government for MOTs that needed to be renewed from the end of March.

The extension was introduced so that fewer people went to mechanics to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But on August 1, the extension came to an end meaning drivers need to make sure their car has an MOT certificate to be road legal.

This applies to motorists with an MOT set to expire on or after this date.

With garages set to continue operating and the lockdown only initially planned for a month, it is unlikely an MOT extension will be put in place this time around.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) told The Sun drivers of a car, van or motorbike need to have a valid MOT if it's being used, except for the journey to a pre-booked MOT.

The only exceptions are if you're self-isolating because of coronavirus, or if you've entered the UK from abroad in the last 14 days and you're in quarantine.

In this scenario, you don't need to notify anyone but you need to make an online application to take your vehicle off the road, also known as "SORN" (Statutory Off Road Notification).

Keep in mind that cars always need to be roadworthy and drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

You can also be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

What do if your MOT has run out

WE explain what to do if your MOT has run out.

  • If your tax is due to run out, register your vehicle as "off the road" – you cannot renew your vehicle tax if your MOT has expired
  • Book an MOT test
  • Tax your vehicle once it has passed its MOT

You cannot drive or park your vehicle on the road if the MOT has run out. You can be prosecuted if caught.

The only exceptions are to drive it: to or from somewhere to be repaired or to a pre-arranged MOT test.

Annual MOT tests check that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

The date it runs out is printed on your current MOT pass certificate.

You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.

So if, for example, your MOT runs out on November 15, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is November16.

Contact an MOT approved test centre to book your test – the maximum fee for a car is £54.85, while it's £29.65 for a standard motorcycle.

 

Of course, be aware that you may have to pay extra if your vehicle ends up needing work done.

We've asked the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if vehicle tax has also been suspended but it appears you still need to pay this as normal.

MOT rules are different in Northern Ireland.

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