April 1, 2020DVSA’s MOT Extension: COVID-19 Six-Month MOT Exemption
With the introduction of a six-month exemption on MOTs for Britain’s motorists, drivers should be aware this does not mean the law governing the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm has been suspended, warns TyreSafe.
Tread depth is essential to keep a vehicle in contact with the road, particularly in wet conditions. Without this crucial contact, a vehicle will be more difficult to control and take longer to stop. At present, a tyre being driven below 1.6mm is illegal and if found by the police could result in a fine of up to £2,500, and three-points being added to a driver’s licence – this is per tyre!
In the battle to halt the Coronavirus pandemic, the government announced that from the 30th March 2020, vehicle owners have been granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing to enable vital services to continue. This allows deliveries to proceed, frontline workers to get to work, and enables people to get essential food and medicine.
While this measure was deemed to have been essential, it does mean drivers will have to take greater responsibility for their own road safety. As over a quarter of MOT failures have historically been due to unsafe tyres, too many of Britain’s vehicle owners have until now clearly been leaving tyre checks to the MOT testers. If motorists are to minimise their risk of accidents on the roads, they will need to ensure their tyres’ air pressure, condition and tread depth, to ensure that their cars are safe and legal to drive.
A tyre’s correct air pressure is determined by the vehicle manufacturer and can be found in the handbook or fuel filler cap and on many online pressure look-up tables, such as tyresafe.org. Owners should use an accurate pressure gauge to check their tyre’s inflation level and should adjust it according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, paying attention to the need to adjust between heavy and light loads.
A 20p-piece can be used as a guide to check a tyres’ legal limit. Insert the coin across the width of the tyre and around its circumference; if you can see the border of the 20p, your tyre is close to the legal limit and should be checked with an accurate gauge.
Drivers should also check that their tyres are free-from lumps, cracks and embedded objects. If you do observe any of these, the tyre should be considered unsafe to use until it has been checked over by a professional.
Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe Chairman said: “The need to make vehicles exempt from the MOT is regrettable from a road safety point of view but entirely understandable in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, drivers should be making certain that when they drive, their vehicle is safe. With so many uncertainties and unexpected events happening to families and organisations all the time, drivers should not delay in carrying out these checks but instead be confident their car is roadworthy, no matter what the reason for their essential journey.”
At Treadfirst, we provide full MOT tests for class IV and class VII vehicles plus Servicing for all vehicle types. Our experienced engineers carry out a detailed inspection fully compliant with the new guidelines, and are happy to advise on maintenance or repair requirements should your vehicle have any issues – we can also make necessary repairs right there and then for your complete convenience. To arrange your MOT with us, simply get in touch today.