The Government has responded to calls for cars, motorcycles and vans to be granted MOT exemption but has stressed that vehicles must be kept in roadworthy condition.
The much-anticipated move will apply from 30 March 2020 and gives drivers a six-month exemption, enabling them to carry on with essential travel, including for work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or to shop for necessities, as laid out in government guidance.
But garages will remain open for essential repair work and drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.
The legislation will come into immediate effect for 12 months and will be recognised by insurers and the police. The DVSA has also confirmed that practical driving tests have been suspended for up to three months.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine.
“Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work.”
The move has been welcomed by the AA, which had raised concerns with transport ministers last week as a UK lockdown became increasingly likely.
Edmund King, AA president, commented: “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.”