Coronavirus: I’m self-isolating but my car’s MOT is due, what can I do?

With the Government issuing advice for those with any symptoms of coronavirus to stay at home, many of us will see otherwise trivial chunks of our life affected unexpectedly.

Of course, it’s advice that should be followed, but it’s natural to be concerned about its effects. One of those we’re looking to answer today is for those whose vehicle MOTs may be on the brink of expiring.

The PA news agency has spoken with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to see what options motorists who are self-isolating have if their vehicle’s MOT certificate is expiring soon, and how centre closures could have an impact going forward.

My MOT is due but I’m self-isolating, what are my options?

As it stands, no special provisions are being made by the DVSA to exempt vehicles due MOTs for those self-isolating, meaning arrangements will need to be made to have the vehicle tested if you wish to keep it on the road.

This could mean insuring a driver you trust on the vehicle and asking them to arrange taking it to and from the test centre. It may also be possible for the centre to organise delivery and collection, so we’d recommend putting the call in.

If the vehicle is parked off the street and on private property, it’s advised by the DVSA to declare the vehicle off the road (SORN). This means tax will not need to be paid on the vehicle, nor it will it require an MOT. That said, it legally cannot be used on public roads when declared SORN — which you should keep in mind if your vehicle is street parked.

If it’s possible to SORN the vehicle and store it legally, it may be worth taking this option and arranging an MOT for after your isolation period.

Will I be penalised if my vehicle doesn’t have a valid MOT while I’m self-isolating?

As no provisions for MOT exemptions have been made as of yet, failing to MOT a vehicle will leave you at risk of a fine of up to £1,000 if it is not declared off the road, or is caught driving on public roads without.

If MOT centres are ordered to shut and my vehicle’s certificate expires, what can I do?

The DVSA currently has “no provisions” for centres that may be advised or forced to close pending further government communications on the coronavirus pandemic, but says the situation is “constantly under review”.

If your vehicle is due an MOT soon and you are able to arrange for it to be taken/to from the centre or are still able yourself, we’d recommend doing that as soon as possible. This will help in case MOT centres are advised or ordered to close in the future.

It’s worth noting that your vehicle can be put through an MOT test up to one calendar month prior to its existing certificate expiring.