The UK Government listed all garages across, whether they only fixed cars or were MOT testing centres, as essential services which meant that they would be open throughout the pandemic.
Although there weren’t that many cars on the streets, if anyone needed a machinic, they would be able to find one. One of the main reasons for getting this done was that the frontline workers might have had requirements of getting their vehicles fixed and they didn’t want them to have any difficulties.
This relating to vehicles also extended to the MOT tests, which is a mandatory test for vehicle owners, to get their cars checked every year to make sure they were roadworthy, safe, and reduced emissions.
These tests were pushed by six months which meant that any cars registered from 30th March to 31st July, had their registrations automatically moved to six months later. While tests were pushed forward, people were still allowed to get their vehicles tested, if they wanted to. Additionally, all cars had to be roadworthy, even if they chose to delay their MOT tests. Vehicles that were not roadworthy could be charged fines that were higher than vehicles that did not have registered MOT licences.
The system was taken online, allowing people to book MOT tests through the internet. They would be provided with a date and a time slot when they could visit the garage and get their vehicle tested to make sure that it met the requirements of the test. While this made the registration process simpler, it was also beneficial for people who did not want to wait among other people while they got their cars tested.
People were no longer comfortable when it came to leaving their homes, with their work handled from home, and they stayed in for everything else. The Government was encouraging people to stay home and only left if they had to. Some garages stepped in here and offered to send representatives to the homes of people to pick up their cars. They would then test them out and drop them over after they finished, which was all handled following the proper rules, including the sanitisation of vehicles.
They could also get an MOT check during the pandemic, with 1.3 million cars getting checked and tested in June itself. Most people hurried when it came to this because they did not want to wait in queues once the delay lifted.
Every year the UK registers more than 30 million cars, and most of the MOT garages handle this with ease. However, with the Government allowing vehicles to push this off, there would be more people waiting to get their vehicles sorted as soon as the rules were changed, which happened on 1st August.
The online system was a major assist since people could not only find all their vehicle histories leading up to 2005, but they could also see the previous years MOT results, so they knew the work that they needed to handle on their vehicle.