Coronavirus: Lockdown 2.0 myths debunked

Georgia Petrie

Written by

Georgia Petrie

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  • Everything you need to know about motoring during lockdown 
  • Do you need toad tax if you're not driving?
  • Details on MoTs, insurance and finance.

If the latest lockdown news has left you feeling a little confused, look no further. Here’s everything you need to know about MOTs, insurance, road tax and car finance heading into England’s second lockdown.

“MOTs are cancelled”

MOT centres and garages are allowed to stay open during the lockdown, which means you can still have your car tested and/or repaired.

During the March lockdown, cars due an MoT – between 30 March and 31 July – were granted a six-month extension because many garages closed for safety reasons even though they weren’t legally told to shut. However, mandatory MoT testing for all cars, vans and motorcycles in England, Scotland and Wales was reintroduced on 1 August 2020.

This time around Halfords, National Tyres and Autocare, ATS Euromaster and Kwik Fit have all confirmed that their doors will remain open and you can expect most other garages to do the same.

“I don’t need road tax anymore”

The road tax rules haven’t been changed. This means you must have valid road tax VED to drive your vehicle (unless you are taking the car to a pre-booked MOT appointment). You should tax your vehicle online if you’re able to as this will avoid potential DVLA backlogs.

We understand that checking on finances is a priority for many, so if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t afford to pay your road tax and you don’t need your car while isolating, you should declare your car as SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification).

It is worth noting that if your car is SORN, it is technically an offence to leave it on a public road, so you should consider where you leave your car if you don’t have off-street parking.

“My car insurance is no longer valid”

If you’re self-isolating, your car insurance will continue as normal and you should not need to inform your policy provider. If you are considering taking the car off the road and storing it in a garage, you should consider keeping your insurance running even if you do not plan to use the car. Otherwise, you’ll be liable for any theft or damage while you are in lockdown. If in doubt, it’s best to check with your insurance provider because many offer the ability to easily change details of your policies online.

If you do put your car into storage and declare it SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification) it’s important to note that you will need valid insurance before driving the car to a pre-booked MOT appointment.

“I’m still locked into my car finance contract”

Some contracts might have the option to support those financially struggling due to COVID-19 and lockdown. These can include payment schedule changes and deferrals for those who need them.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said borrowers who are currently benefiting from a three-month payment deferral - under the advice given to drivers in July - would be able to apply for a second payment deferral of one month.

The FCA said: “Lenders will provide information soon on what this means for their customers and how to apply for this support if our proposals are confirmed.”

See also: 

Buying a car post-lockdown

What COVID-19 measures mean for buying a car

How to buy a car online