As the easing of restrictions sees car traffic rapidly returning to pre-pandemic levels, MOT experts say nearly two million cars may be being driven illegally.
The latest transport data shows that from week commencing April 12, car traffic rose to 88 percent of the equivalent level before the pandemic, up from 77 percent the previous week. If that increase was spread evenly across the UK car parc, it would represent the equivalent of an additional 3.5 million cars on the road compared to the previous week.
Figures from the DVSA show that following the issue of MOT extensions during the first lockdown, one in five (19.5 percent) of those vehicles have yet to be retested. Even the very last cars to receive an extension have now passed their extended expiry date, yet some 1.86 million of these vehicles still haven’t had a new MOT, although it might be reasonable to assume that a good number of these vehicles were older, second cars in households and have simply been scrapped.
Nonetheless, national chain Kwik Fit’s analysis of the latest data reveals that these 1.86 million vehicles have not had a valid MOT for an average of 3.4 months.
Eric Smith, MOT scheme manager at Kwik Fit, says: “It may be that shifting the expiry dates with the extension has caused the MOT to slip from drivers’ minds, or perhaps they have been using their car so little that they have forgotten about having it tested. Some owners may think that because they’ve not been using their car it will be just as they left it, however parts will rust or wear with little use, bulbs may fail or windscreen wipers start to perish. We would urge drivers to make sure they are both safe and legal before heading out on to the road as restrictions ease.”
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