AS England is plunged into a third national lockdown, we explain what this means for garages and MOTs.
With the new restrictions set to be in place until the middle of February, as part of new rules to save the NHS and stop the spread of coronavirus.
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All non-essential businesses have been forced to shut, including clothing and electronics stores as well as hairdressers and restaurants.
Instead, Brits are only allowed to visit "essential" retailers such as supermarkets, pharmacists, pet shops, hardware stores, and newsagents.
Are garages open during the second lockdown?
Yes, MOT garages have once again been deemed an "essential service" by the government, which means they remain open.
Hours will, however, vary by garage as these are independently owned – so get in touch with your local to find out.
Many garages are also likely to be busier than usual due to a backlog of work caused by the previous lockdowns, so it's worth contacting your nearest one sooner rather than later.
Do I need to get my MOT done?
During the first lockdown, a six month extension was given to drivers whose MOT was due to expire between March 30 and July 31 2020.
However, the deadline for this extension has now passed.
If your MOT ran out after July 31 2020 then you should book a test as normal.
What do if your MOT has run out
WE explain what to do if your MOT has run out.
- If your tax is due to run out, register your vehicle as "off the road" – you cannot renew your vehicle tax if your MOT has expired
- Book an MOT test
- Tax your vehicle once it has passed its MOT
You cannot drive or park your vehicle on the road if the MOT has run out. You can be prosecuted if caught.
The only exceptions are to drive it: to or from somewhere to be repaired or to a pre-arranged MOT test.
The only exceptions are if you're self-isolating because of Covid-19, or if you've entered the UK from abroad in the last 14 days and you're in quarantine.
In this scenario, you don't need to notify anyone but you need to make an online application to take your vehicle off the road, also known as "SORN" (Statutory Off Road Notification).
Keep in mind that cars always need to be roadworthy and drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.
You can also be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
Annual MOT tests check that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.
The date it runs out is printed on your current MOT pass certificate.
You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.
So if, for example, your MOT runs out on March 5, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is March 6.
Contact an MOT approved test centre to book your test – the maximum fee for a car is £54.85, while it's £29.65 for a standard motorcycle.
Of course, be aware that you may have to pay extra if your vehicle ends up needing work done. MOT rules are different in Northern Ireland.
Do I need to tax my vehicle?
Yes, you will still be required to have valid road tax for your vehicle.
When your tax is due, you should receive a letter in the post reminding you of when you need to pay by, and how much you need to pay.
There are several ways you can pay.
You can pay for the entire year in one go, or two six-monthly payments, or monthly.
Keep in mind that if you pay every six months or monthly, you'll pay interest for spreading out the costs.
Payments can be done online at gov.uk, over the phone on 0300 1234 321 or at the Post Office.
You must tax your vehicle even if you do not have to pay anything, for example if you're exempt because of a disability.
The whole of England is now under stay at home orders, which means you should only leave your home once a day for specific reasons.
The new rules mean that Brits will not be able to travel unless absolutely necessary.
Under the new measures, people are only allowed to exercise with one other person.
Boris Johnson says everyone in top 4 priority groups could have received covid vaccine by mid-February
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