The RAC is reminding drivers of their responsibility to ensure vehicles remain safe and properly maintained, despite the current six-month MOT exemption.
The motoring organisation says since the exemption came into effect in March, hundreds of thousands of vehicles have been missing their MOTs each month – risking a rise in the number of unroadworthy vehicles in use.
It is asking drivers who plan on making full use of the MOT exemption to remain responsible – and remember some defects are difficult or impossible to detect without the help of a mechanic.
Adam O’Neill, head of RAC motoring services, said: “Since the Coronavirus lockdown took effect, hundreds of thousands of vehicles every month have been missing their normal MOTs.
“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.
“Every driver must remember that the safety and roadworthiness of their vehicle remains their responsibility.
“For those planning on making full use of the six-month MOT extension, it’s vital that if they believe something isn’t right with their car, or that they know it’s unlikely to pass an MOT if it took place tomorrow, they should take it in for repairs as soon as possible and not drive it in the meantime.”
Survey suggests many still plan on getting their car serviced
The message from the RAC comes on the back of the findings of a new survey, which suggests 14% of drivers will make full use of the extra six-months added to MOT due dates.
Of those, 83% say it is because they are confident in the roadworthiness of their vehicle – which has led to a warning from the RAC that some problems are difficult or impossible for a driver to check themselves – including seatbelt safety, brakes and exhaust emissions.
Conversely, 44% of respondents to the survey, carried out for RAC Approved Garages, plan on getting their car checked as normal – despite the impact of Covid-19.
More than half (52%) say it is because they want to ensure essential safety checks are made at the right time, while 40% are confident their cars are in good working order and want them to pass their MOTs as soon as possible.
Adam O’Neill added: “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.”