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The Department for Transport has announced a six-month extension to vehicle MoT tests for a year from 30 March to help key workers maintain their mobility, although drivers are still obliged to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy.

“We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID19 are able to do so,” said transport ecretary Grant Schapps. “Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people get essential food and medicine.”

Garages have also been allowed to remain open for essential repair work, and the DfT emphasised both that vehicle owners should still only be travelling “to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or to shop for necessities”.

Drivers will still need to get their vehicles tested if the MoT expiration is before 30 March, and the DfT said it is working with insurers and the police to avoid unfairly penalising people in self-isolation that aren’t able to get their car tested.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will, according to the DfT, update vehicle MoT details a week before the test is due.

The MoT suspension comes days after Transport for London announced it was suspending its congestion charge and ultra low emissions zones indefinitely, while the Government has also announced a suspension of driving tests, and the annual testing for lorries, buses and coaches has been suspended for up to three months.