Millions of motorists at risk of driving illegally this autumn as MOT demand increases

Millions of motorists in the UK could be at risk of driving illegally this autumn according to new data.

With the end of the MOT extension policy on August 1, millions of motorists will look to get their vehicles tested as their MOTs begin to expire over the coming three months. Effectively doubling the number of tests required in September, October and November, a total of 11.28 million cars will need a new MOT over the period.

Research conducted by Kwik Fit has found that 38 per cent of drivers usually book their test three days or fewer before their MOT expires. As a result of increased demand, Kwik Fit predicts that the average garage across the UK will be booked up and won’t be able to cater for these last-minute tests.

It means that if drivers follow their usual habits and look to get their cars tested three days or fewer before their MOT expires, up to 4.3 million car owners will be at risk of having to drive with an expired MOT. It’s an offence that can result in a £1,000 fine.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The MOT is a vital safety check, but it is something that many drivers leave to the last minute to sort out and in previous years that has left some car owners driving without an MOT. The impact of Covid-19 and the MOT extension will make this problem much worse as finding available MOT appointments at short notice will be a lot trickier over the coming months.”

Data has also shown the areas in which MOT appointments are likely to be the most scarce. Drivers in Reading, Dumfries and Swindon – among others – will likely find it the hardest to get their cars tested, with three times as many vehicles needing a test in Reading compared with Blackburn – an area where drivers are best catered for in terms of test availability.