The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has revealed data that suggests one in five (19.5%) vehicles granted an extension to their MOT following the lockdown last March, have yet to be retested.

Vehicles were granted the six-month exemption from MOT testing in March 2020, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Mandatory MOT tests for cars, motorcycles and vans in England, Scotland and Wales were restarted from August 1, 2020.

Kwik Fit reports that even the last vehicles to receive an extension have now passed their extended expiry date, yet some 1.86 million of these have not had a new MOT. These 1.86 million vehicles have not had a valid MOT for an average of 3.4 months.

When assessing the MOT failure rate of those cars that have been brought in for MOTs during this period, Kwik Fit has seen a significantly lower failure rate than in normal years (up to a 10% difference), suggesting that it is the cars which are more likely to fail their MOT which are not being tested.

Kwik Fit said even taking the average overall failure rate of around one third of cars indicates that at least 600,000 of these cars are not currently roadworthy.

According to Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), a number of garages risk losing their certificate to offer MOTs as there is but one week to the DVSA training and assessment deadline.

Nash said: “The increased volumes they faced as a consequence of the 2020 MOT extension have made it difficult for them to find the time to complete their training and assessment.

“If they miss the 30th April deadline they will lose an important revenue stream, not just for MOTs but for the other work that being able to offer MOTs enables”.

Nash also mentioned that industry professionals who have not yet taken their assessment may find that the higher pass rate now required by the DVSA will leave them little time for retakes:

“This means they could lose this important income stream for their business,” he added. “But that’s not our only concern – there is a very real threat to road safety if the MOT test market shrinks”.