Driver attitudes towards six-month MOT exemption revealed in new survey

Majority of drivers not inclined to use extension over fears for road safety and backlog of tests

Around 40 per cent of drivers won’t be making use of the current six-month MOT exemption, a survey of 2,200 UK drivers has suggests.

Just one-in-seven drivers (14 per cent) surveyed by the RAC say they will make full use of the extra six months added to MOT due dates, with three times that proportion (44 per cent) planning on getting their car checked as normal despite the impact of the coronavirus.

Of those drivers who don’t plan on using the full MOT extension, 52 per cent say it is because they want to ensure essential safety checks are made at the right time, while 40 per cent are confident their cars are in good working order and want them to pass their MOTs as soon as possible.

16 per cent say their reason is that they are worried there will be a huge backlog of MOT tests as the lockdown is eased further, making it harder to book a test.

Of those who do plan on making use of the full six-month MOT extension, an overwhelming 83 per cent say it is because they are confident in the roadworthiness of their vehicle.

Of all the drivers surveyed, 27 per cent said they weren’t aware of the MOT extension.

When it comes to servicing, 47 per cent of respondents still plan to get their car serviced regardless of the lockdown status, although 37 per cent say they’ll only do this once the lockdown is completely lifted and 13 per cent say they’ll delay their service and get it done to coincide with a later MOT.

Of those who are waiting for the lockdown to be lifted further, 48 per cent say they are holding off booking a service because they are concerned about visiting garages during the coronavirus outbreak.

Head of RAC motoring services Adam O’Neill said: “Since the coronavirus lockdown took effect, hundreds of thousands of vehicles every month have been missing their normal MOTs and in turn there’s a risk that more unroadworthy cars are now on our roads, especially as many more of us are now driving compared to March.

“It’s encouraging therefore to see that a large proportion of people we surveyed clearly care about the condition of their cars and aren’t being put off from getting them through their MOTs or serviced as normal.

“But at the same time there understandably remains some drivers who are worried about how safe it is to visit a garage during the pandemic.

“The key to encouraging drivers to book MOTs and servicing as they normally would is to reassure them that garages have made the right adjustments to keep them and their staff safe.”

The survey results follows a response from Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps to a letter from the Independent Garage Association which called for end to the six-month MOT exemption.

Mr Shapps revealed that the extension would not be lifted until tests can be “conducted safely” with the “lowest possible risk” to the health of motorists and staff.

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