The government introduced the temporary six-month exemption from MOTs on 30 March 2020 to help key workers and allow people to still buy essential supplies during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Cars will see the exemption period end from the beginning of October – and as lots of new cars are generally sold in March due to the registration plate change, this means a spike in demand from as many as 1.7 million motorists is forecast.
This will be on top of regular demand from two million motorists.
Halfords Autocentres is now warning motorists they are likely to face delays.
Some may not even be able to get their cars checked before the six-month extension ends and their test expires – and they won’t be able to drive their cars until they can get a new MOT.
£1,000 no MOT fine
“October and the winter months are going to be much busier than normal when motorists will be joining millions of others who have held off getting their MOT done,” said the firm’s MD Andy Randall.
Almost 1 in 3 motorists, he added, don’t know there’s a £1,000 fine for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
The company is now launching a nationwide campaign urging motorists to beat the rush and get their car MOT done in the summer, well before it is due.
It is not illegal to have an MOT carried out before it is due and testers can issue an MOT certificate even months before the old one expires.