Number of MOTs down by more than five million since start of lockdown

New data increases pressure on Transport Secretary to end six-month MOT exemption

More than five million fewer MOTs were carried out during the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown period, a Freedom of Information request to the DVSA has revealed.

During April and May of this year 2,153,768 MOTs were carried out, down from 7,166,566 carried out in the same period in 2019.

The data, which was obtained by used car stocking source, Motorway shows that just 746,157 tests were conducted during the height of the lockdown in April with 1,407,611 carried out in May.

In May, Birmingham saw the highest number of MOTs with almost 40,000 motorists taking their vehicles in for a test, and almost twice as many MOTs (34,469) were carried out by garages in the Sheffield postcode area last month compared to April (18,170).

The DVSA last week announced that testing for heavy vehicles is to restart from 4 July 2020.

The six-month MOT exemption for cars, motorcycles and light vans is to remain in place, despite fierce calls for its end.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently said the six-month MOT extension would not be lifted until tests can be “conducted safely” with the “lowest possible risk” to the health of motorists and staff.

Director of the Independent Garage Association (IGA), Stuart James has since said “good progress” was being made in its case to end the exemption during an interview on the Garage Wire Podcast.

The IGA has launched a COVID-19 compliance scheme to provide evidence that independent garages have prepared their premises to be safe for customers.

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