Any cars, motorcycles and vans that require a MOT from March 30, have been given a six-month exemption from testing, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
This is to enable vehicle owners to continue to travel to work where they cannot work from home, and to shop for necessities. The only stipulation is that vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, with the possibility of prosecution for those found driving unsafe vehicles.
Dealerships and garages may remain open for essential repairs. MOTs due before March 30, that have not been tested have not been extended by the Government and therefore you are obliged to get an MOT test carried out, or not use the car.
Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) explains: “As many people are self-isolating or avoiding all non-essential travel, vehicles could potentially be unused for weeks, if not months. This means that we are not monitoring the condition of our vehicles closely, meaning there could be missed faults that could prove dangerous when they are used.
“For those who are making journeys, these are likely to be short, irregular visits to supermarkets and pharmacies, which can also have an impact on your vehicle.
“MOT appointments are still available at garages and dealerships that are still open, as a method of ensuring roadworthiness. However, if this is not possible due to self-isolating, being a vulnerable individual or having someone in your household that is vulnerable, or for any other reason, then the following advice is essential for maintaining your vehicle.”
Checks to make sure your car is in a roadworthy condition include:
Tyres will deflate over time, so checking the tyre pressures regularly will help alleviate this. Check tyre pressure cold and on level ground to ensure an accurate reading.
Tread depth is something that should be checked regularly, as it impacts the only part of the car that connects with the road.
Lights & Indicators
It is vital that all light bulbs are operating correctly A simple walk-round check with lights and indicators on will indicate they are operative, but you will need someone to assist you checking the brake lights by depressing the brake pedal while you are outside.
As it may have been some time since key fluid levels have been checked, looking at these are vital to ensure your vehicle is safe to run. Ensure that your car is on level ground and the engine is cold when checking fluid levels.
Windscreens and mirrors
Ensure that windscreen washer levels are within the recommended capacity and top up with diluted screen wash, or just water through the summer months. Be sure to check any holes in the washer jets are clear – these can be unblocked using a pin.
Windscreen blades must also be checked for wear, on both the front and rear screens. Clean them of any dirt, leaves, insects etc that may have accumulated over the time your vehicle has been stationary.
These tips are stated as the minimum of what needs to be done in order to maintain your vehicle from home.