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  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19): MOTs for cars, vans and motorcycles due from 30 March 2020 From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. There’s separate guidance about what to do if your MOT due date is up to and including 29 March 2020. There are different temporary rules for MOT tests for lorries, buses and trailers. What you need to do You do not need to do anything to extend your vehicle’s MOT expiry date if it’s on or after 30 March 2020. However, you must keep your vehicle safe to drive. Your vehicle will be automatically given a 6-month MOT exemption. This will extend your current MOT expiry date by 6 months. ExampleYour vehicle’s MOT was due to expire on 3 April 2020. This will automatically be extended to 3 October 2020. You will need to get your MOT by this date. You can check your MOT history to see when you have been issued an exemption. It will not be updated straight away, so keep checking back if your new due date MOT is not yet showing. You will not get a paper exemption certificate. If your vehicle tax is due, you can tax your vehicle as soon as your MOT due date has been updated. If your vehicle’s first MOT is due Your vehicle will be automatically given a 6-month MOT exemption from the date its first MOT was due. If your first MOT was due before 30 March 2020 and your vehicle did not pass Your vehicle will not get an extension to its MOT due date. Your vehicle will need to pass an MOT before you can drive it again. The government is allowing MOT centres and garages to remain open. So you can still get an MOT if you need your vehicle: to shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible for any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person to travel to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home Read the full guidance on staying at home and away from others. Keep your vehicle safe to drive You must make sure your vehicle is safe to drive (‘roadworthy’). It can be unsafe even if your MOT expiry date has been extended. Find out how to check your vehicle is safe and read the rules about vehicle maintenance, safety and security. You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition. Original article source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-for-cars-vans-and-motorcycles-due-from-30-march-2020 Published by gov.uk (25/03/20)
  2. Autocar’s advice on how drivers will be affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic As the UK government effectively orders the entire population to stay at home in an effort to contain the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, motorists are understandably unsure as to how the new rules affect them. Autocar has compiled this guide to help you know what you can and can’t do until the restrictions are lifted. What is the coronavirus (Covid-19)? Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a potentially deadly viral infection that is easily transmitted between individuals. Originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, it's highly contagious and sufferers only begin to show symptoms several days after infection. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions can develop especially serious forms of the resulting illness, so the UK and most other countries around the world have imposed strict lockdown measures to limit its spread. Can I still go for a drive in self-isolation? Although driving hasn't been banned, you should take your car out only if you have no other alternative. The government has said trips to the supermarket and pharmacy are permitted, as well as commuting for key workers, but simply driving for pleasure isn't advisable until the restrictions lift. How can I stay safe when refuelling at a petrol station? The price of fuel has fallen quite significantly because of the coronavirus pandemic – the Morrisons supermarket chain has dropped unleaded prices by an unprecedented 12p per litre – and fuel stations remain open for the time being. Fuel pump handles have, however, been identified as high-risk touchpoints, so customers have been advised to use gloves while filling their car and to wash their hands thoroughly as soon as possible after leaving. Can I still get my car serviced? Some garages have been forced to close due to social distancing restrictions limiting the number of people that can be in one place. However, under the terms of the government’s latest announcement, MOT test centres have been classed as essential businesses. This means that key workers' vehicles, which are considered essential means of transport, can still have their annual tests carried out. Garages are likely to postpone any other work until the stay-at-home rule is lifted. What if my car's MOT runs out? As it stands, a valid MOT certificate remains a legal requirement for any vehicle being driven on public roads. Measures are being put in place at many test centres to protect the health of customers and staff, including free vehicle collection and drop-off services, careful post-test cleaning and online booking forms. The penalty for driving without an MOT can be up to £1000, so if your car’s MOT is set to expire in the next few weeks, it’s best to book it in for a test now, while you still definitely can. Do I still need to pay the Congestion Charge or ULEZ entry fee? Central London's Congestion Charge (£11.50 per day) and ULEZ entry fee (£12.50) have been suspended indefinitely as part of a drive to reduce crowding on the city’s diminished public transport offering. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the move will also make it easier for key workers, such as NHS and supermarket staff, to get to work. A total of 40 underground stations have now been closed, while bus and mainline train services in and around the capital have been heavily reduced. Announcements will be made before the Congestion Charge and ULEZ entry fee are reinstated. What do I do if I've booked a driving test? The DVSA has suspended practical driving tests for up to three months, with the exception of those booked by critical workers, including NHS workers and goods delivery drivers. Any booked tests will be automatically rescheduled at no cost to the learner, who will be notified of the new date by email around two weeks before the original scheduled test. ~ Driving theory tests have been cancelled for one month. The DVSA will issue refunds for any tests that had been booked and continues to take bookings for test slots from 21 April onwards. Is now a good time to buy a new car? Dealerships had, by and large, announced temporary closures even before the Prime Minister forced all non-essential retailers to shut down. Lookers, one of the UK’s largest multi-marque dealer groups, said yesterday (24 March): “It has become clear that maintaining safe social distancing measures whilst continuing to operate car dealerships has become increasingly difficult. Against this background and with the support of our OEM brand partners, the Group is temporarily closing all of its trading locations with immediate effect.” Rival firms including Sytner, Marshall Motor Group, HR Owen and Chorley Group, as well as many smaller dealers, have all now closed their doors for the time being. Online platforms, such as our sister title What Car?'s New Car Buying service, remain in operation, offering buyers the ability to specify and order a new car without violating the self-isolation rules. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that much of the European, US and Asian manufacturing sectors remain in a state of shutdown, so waiting times for new cars are likely to be significantly extended. Can I still buy a used car or go to an auction house? Various sources have reported a huge spike in online searches for used cars costing less than £2000 as second-hand dealerships and auction houses are forced to move to a digital sales model to limit person-to-person contact. From 26 March, BCA, the UK’s largest used car auction chain, will host all of its events online, with prospective buyers invited to place their bids via a dedicated website or app. Punters can also take their chances with a used car from the internet’s still thriving array of private sales platforms, including Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. It goes without saying, however, that buyers should take every precaution possible when viewing or picking up a used car: stay a safe distance from the seller, disinfect the interior thoroughly and don’t spend more time out of the house than you absolutely have to. The most important thing to remember is this: if you can wait to buy a car until after the outbreak, you should.
  3. so sad...yet another British marque disappearing from our once great car building empire 😞
  4. Cars built before 1978 will not have to have an MOT test from next month The Department for Transport will make cars that were built more than 40 years ago exempt from MOT Testing next month, with owners voluntarily electing to have their car checked if they feel it needs one. Currently, only cars built before 1960 are exempt, representing 197,000 cars on UK roads. The new rules, which come into force on 20 May, will exempt a further 293,000 cars from MOTs. The thinking behind the decision, according to the DfT, is that these cars are “usually maintained in good condition and used on few occasions”. The decision also eases concerns that garages might not be adequately testing cars over this age, because the modern MOT applies less to cars of this age. The new date would also bring the age of cars exempt from MOTs in line with the exemption from road tax. The Government dismissed concerns that these cars pose a greater risk of failure than modern ones; cars registered in the interim period between the old exemption and the upcoming exemption have a substantially lower rate of failure than the national average. “We consider the element of risk arising from taking vehicles over 40 years old out of the testing regime is small. The option for owners to submit their vehicles to a voluntary MOT test will remain and they will still, like all vehicle owners, need to ensure that they meet the legal requirement of keeping their vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all times.” Of the 2217 respondents consulted for the proposal, more than half supported the suggested annual or biennial roadworthiness test for 40-year-old vehicles, checking the cars’ identity, brakes, steering, tyres and lights. The DfT has rejected this approach, saying: “Those owners who feel an annual check is needed will be able to submit their vehicles for a voluntary MOT.” A stronger majority voted against exemption of vehicles aged 30 years or older from MOT tests; the DfT sided with the consultation on this proposal, citing accident data as well as the strong negative reaction from the public to this suggestion.
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