With the onset of Coronavirus in the UK, most people did not want to leave their homes. Companies started making changes to the way that their employees worked, allowing them to remotely meet their submissions and deadlines, with their meetings handled over a video call. The Government also mentioned that people could not visit the office in the same numbers as before, with offices maintaining only a 50% capacity which meant that people would only come into work if they had to. While this was the case with a lot of the businesses in the UK, some could only be worked in person, healthcare, construction, hospitality, and even vehicle garages had to be done in person.
While they implemented several systems to reduce the amount of work done in person, for most of it people had to meet to get this work done. While that was the case, the Government made changes to the MOT tests to make sure they would be handled without putting people’s lives at risk. People could now book MOT checks online, through the website, checkmot.com, so they would not have to wait in queues where they were exposed to multiple people, increasing the chances of getting infected. At the testing centers, the vehicles had to be cleaned out, according to the new rules and sanitized by the person conducting the test, after working on them. Some garages went a step further and offered to collect the vehicle from the homes of their clients. They would test them out thoroughly and make sure that they met the requirements and were accordingly sent back to the houses of the clients.
The Government made changes to allow people who needed to get an MOT registration between the dates of 30th March to 31st July, an automatic six-month extension. However, people who needed the MOT licence before or after that date had to get one if they wanted to keep using their cars on roads in Britain. They implemented these changes, although they were quite harsh to make sure the vehicles on the road were roadworthy. Whether vehicles had an MOT licence or were allowed to relay their registration for an MOT license, the rules were clear, and they had to be roadworthy. There were fines for vehicles that were not roadworthy, which were sometimes higher than the ones for people who did not have their MOT licences.
The main reason for the MOT delay was the lack of employees with most businesses, which was the same with garages as well. Furthermore, they wanted to focus these resources on people working on the frontlines and in essential services like healthcare, during the peak of the pandemic. They wanted to make sure that ambulances and doctors got the assistance they needed.
However, with the four-month, initially anticipated to be a six-month delay, in process, it seemed likely that there would be a large number of people who would have to get their cars MOT tested at the beginning of August. This also meant long queues and lines at the MOT testing centers and people did not want to wait, surrounded by others, when there was a high chance of catching the virus.
Every year the MOT testing centers across the UK went through more than 30 million MOT tests, and when vehicles did not clear these tests, they had to get those aspects fixed, and would have to try again. When ten million vehicles failed the MOT test because of the revamp in 2018, these vehicles had to go through these tests again, which was a massive load on the number of garages across the UK. It was foreseen that this would be a similar scene in August, after a backlog of the last four months. To avoid this, the Government did allow people to get MOT tests if they wanted, during the pandemic, but it would not a requirement. The month of June saw more than 1.3 million MOT registrations since people did not want to wait and get this done later when there would be giant crowds.
Other than booking their slot online, they could now check MOT online, and see how well they went through the test in the previous years and the changes they had to implement before going through it again.
The most important was that they were also adding vehicle histories online, which meant owners and mechanics would go through those, leading back to 2005 and see the work done on vehicles. They could then work on the parts that needed more work or check the ones that they did not. The number of MOT tests to be conducted is increasing since people are not replacing their vehicles as often as they were in the past since they would rather save, instead of spending on vehicles. All vehicles, whether MOT tested or not since it is less than three years old, should be roadworthy since there are higher fines if the vehicles are not roadworthy and driven around. The easiest part about the MOT test was that the department makes clear, the aspects and parts of the vehicle that they are going to be testing. They also recommend that people take their vehicles to a garage before they can go through the test. The main reason for doing this is that they get it fixed before going to get it MOT tested and it not making it through. Unfortunately, people do not handle the process like this and end up taking the car to the MOT test directly and failing it. Post failing the MOT test, the vehicle cannot be used on the road, unless they get it repairs and try getting through the test again. A recent comparative study showed that more cars failed the test as compared to bikes that always have a significantly higher chance of clearing the test.