There were five million fewer MOT tests carried out in April and May 2020 than in the same months last year, according to DVSA figures obtained by Motorway.co.uk.
Using a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it found that a total of 2,153,768 MOT tests have been carried out since March 30. That compares to 7,166,056 carried out in 2019.
Any motorists with an MOT test due from March 30 have automatically been given a six-month extension as part of the Coronavirus lockdown. However, vehicles still have to be kept in a roadworthy condition, with garages remaining open for essential repair works.
Alex Buttle, director of Motorway.co.uk, said: “More than two million motorists have now chosen not to postpone their MOT tests since the government announced the extension at the end of March. And twice as many took their cars in last month compared to April.
“Even if you can delay, it may be more cost-efficient to get the MOT done sooner rather than later to protect your car’s ongoing value.”
According to DVSA figures, 1,407,611 drivers took their vehicles in for an MOT test during May, almost double (89%) the number of tests during April (746,157).
Despite this increase, a substantial number of motorists did decide to take advantage of the extension, with MOT tests last month down two-thirds (61%) on the number of tests in May 2019, when more than 3.6 million MOTs were carried out.
Birmingham saw the highest number of MOTs, with almost 40,000 motorists taking their vehicles in for a test in May, and almost twice as many MOTs (34,469) were carried out by garages in the Sheffield postcode area last month compared to April (18,170).
Postcode areas with the largest % drop in MOTs in May 20 vs May 19:
MOTs - May
MOTs - May
% drop in test numbers
South West London