Road users were concerned failing to have an MOT would mean they could not legally drive their cars as they could not apply for car tax or insurance. The DVSA had already put a three month exemption in place for heavy goods vehicles and buses but faced calls to extend this to cars.
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The six month suspension will mean cars and vans can continue to use the road even if their MOT has expired.
It will help key workers such as those working in healthcare and food supply service to keep going to work during the crisis.
In a statement, Transport Secreatary Grant Shapps said: “We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID19 are able to do so.
“Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people get essential food and medicine.
“Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work.”
The DfT says legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for the beenfit of all road users.
However, they conform drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into effect next week.
The DfT also confrmed the agency is working with insurance providers and the police to ensure those unable to attend an appointment because they are self-isolating are not unfairly punished.
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The AA has welcomed the temporary suspension of MOT tests across the UK which they say has provided a sensible solution to the issue.
AA President, Edmund King said: “With partial lockdown on the horizon, the AA raised concerns about MOTs with transport ministers last week as many drivers were anxious about their MOT running out whilst in self-isolation.
“We are glad they have listened and provided a sensible solution.
“Drivers should only use their cars for essential journeys throughout the lockdown and must ensure they keep their car in a good condition.”
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According to GOV.UK motorists don’t need to do anything to extend their vehicles MOT expiration date if it’s due after 30 March.
Every vehicle will automatically be given a six month exemption which will extend the certificate due to the crisis.
This means you will still hold a valid certificate and will therefore still be able to apply for car tax and car insurance as usual.
Every motorist will have a different expiration date but say this will be exactly six months after the initial certificate was due to expire.
GOV.UK says if your certificate was due to expire on 3 April 2020 this will now be extended to 3 October.
However, failing to keep your car in a good condition could still see road users hit with penalties such as fines.
Motorists can be fined up to £2,500 and receive three penalty points for driving a car which is considered to be in a dangerous condition.
However, fines can increase to as high as £5,000 per tyre if police notice one or more are underinflated or damaged.
GOV.UK says motorists should still take their car to be repaired at the nearest open garage if their vehicle develops any issues.
The government has decided garages are still permitted to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, these are independent companies and many have already decided to close their doors to protect the health and safety of staff and customers.
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