Coronavirus – road charges, driving tests and MOT changes

Posted on March 25th, 2020 by GEM Motoring Assist

The current pandemic is touching all of our lives. From a motoring perspective, Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that both the Congestion Charge and fees for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) were suspended from Monday, 23rd March.

The reason is to assist the City’s critical workers to travel around the capital. TfL justifies its decisions by saying that the roads need to be kept clear for the emergency services and critical workers who need to get around by car.

While public transport in London is still operational, the number of open stations is restricted. Yet, the typical experience of public transport in a capital city, of often uncomfortable levels of proximity to other people, is a significant concern at the moment. This might be why the used car website, DesperateSeller, has found that demand for small, inexpensive cars that cost under £2,000 has increased by 27% in London alone, since March 9th.


Driving tests suspended

Nationwide, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is also suspending driver testing for up to three months. These include driving tests for cars, motorcycles, lorries, coaches and buses, plus those for driving instructors.

One reason for this is to prioritise people that have a ‘critical need’ to take their driving examinations, with the DVSA citing NHS and delivery goods drivers as examples. The Agency reports that it will contact everyone with an already booked test to let them know about the cancellation. Those who have tests cancelled will have priority, when testing resumes.


MOT tests suspended

Obviously, garage visits are impossible in self-isolating situations. Availability of skilled technicians was also a challenge before the evolving pandemic struck.

Therefore, the DVSA has announced that it will suspend MOT Tests for 6 months from 30th March for cars, motorcycles and vans. Even so, vehicles must continue to be maintained, kept safe to drive (roadworthy) and operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.


All information correct at the time of publication, GEM will keep you updated of any changes.