The AA has warned that this September is set to see a huge spike in demand for test slots and drivers leaving booking to the last minute could find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
The motoring organisation’s head of road policy, Jack Cousens, said MOT centres were already under pressure and motorists could end up missing their car’s test date if they delayed making an appointment.
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All cars between three and 40 years old must have an MOT and anyone caught driving a car without a valid MOT can be fined up to £1,000.
AA research suggests that around 5.5 million cars had a delayed MOT last year – more than half of all the vehicles granted an extension under the exemption scheme implemented during lockdown.
The scheme automatically extended the MOT validity for cars, motorbikes and light vans by six months in England, Scotland and Wales, while drivers in Northern Ireland were given a 12-month extension.
As a result, many drivers put off having their car tested until restrictions had eased and September 2020 saw a spike in the number of appointments.
These cars are now due their next MOT, along with 339,000 cars registered in September 2018, which are now due their first test.
Mr Cousens said: “With more than 5.5 million cars deferring an MOT it is crucial that they are tested to ensure they are safe to use.
“MOT centres are already feeling the strain and with ‘Super September’ looming, savvy drivers can get ahead of the game. Don’t delay, book today.
“Usually people leave booking their MOT to the last possible moment. Drivers won’t have that luxury this time.”