Twelve-month MOT holiday for top fleets03 August 2020

DVSA has announced plans to offer some fleets a 12-month exemption from MOT testing requirements, in an attempt to manage demand at authorised testing facilities (ATFs) as the country emerges from COVID-19 lockdown.

Since heavy vehicle testing restarted on 4 July, DVSA has been offering three-month certificates of temporary exemption (CTEs) to vehicles and trailers due for test.

That scheme will remain in place until March 2021 for all vehicles and trailers that have not already received one, DVSA stated on 1 August.

Certain vehicles and trailers due for test up to March 2021 will get longer exemptions, because they are considered to be safer, DVSA said. It explains: "Newer vehicles and trailers, Earned Recognition operators and those demonstrating a higher level of compliance generally have the lowest test failure rates."

That means that three types of operators and vehicles are being offered a 12-month exemption: operators who comply with Earned Recognition, vehicles or trailers less than two years old, and operators in green OCRS roadworthiness band with 50 or more roadworthiness events and a calculated roadworthiness base score of 1.3 or lower on 27 July 2020.

All exemptions will be applied automatically, and will be added to the original test date. For example, a vehicle with a test originally due in September 2020 will be offered an automatic three-month extension to December 2020, according to DVSA.

Twelve-month exemptions will also apply from the original test date. For example, a vehicle with a test originally due in March 2020 which got an exemption to September 2020 will be moved to March 2021. If an exemption has already been issued to the vehicle or trailer, the test date will be made up to 12 months.

The rules are slightly different for public sector vehicles, whose date is retained even though it is given an exemption. DVSA explains: if the vehicle is due for test on 15 September 2020 and gets a 3-month exemption, it will move to 15 December 2020. A table is posted below.

DVSA states that operators of dangerous goods vehicles who are getting an exemption for the first time should complete the application for an ADR annual inspection waiver to keep their inspection date in line with the new test date.

DVSA adds that all eligible operators should ensure their vehicle lists on Vehicle Operator Licensing (VOL) are up to date by 21 August 2020. Trailer data can alternatively be provided in an Excel file - further information is to come, apparently.

Operators with a green OCRS roadworthiness score can find out if they will qualify for a 12-month exemption by asking for a copy of their OCRS report covering the 3 year period to 27 July 2020.

DVSA states that 12-month exemptions will be processed from 24 August 2020 and we will start with vehicles and trailers which are due in for test in August 2020 (those with 3-month exemptions issued in May 2020). That means, it adds, that some PSVs will not get longer exemptions prior to their August 2020 test expiry date because the individual expiry date is before 24 August 2020.

DVSA stipulates that regular servicing should continue during the extension period: "You should continue to manage the regular maintenance and inspection schedule for your vehicles and trailers during the exemption period. This is a legal requirement under your operator’s licence."

The agency adds that it has provided guidance to ATFs about which vehicles to prioritise for inspections. The highest-priority vehicles are:

-Vehicles/trailers legally due a test within a month

-Vehicles/trailers going on international journeys

-Dangerous goods vehicles

-Specialist vehicle types (eg. refuse vehicles, gritters)

-Prohibition clearances.

It asks that operators benefitting from longer exemptions reschedule pre-booked inspections to create space for vehicles which will legally require a test.

DVSA says that it is making more testing staff available to ATFs, and adds that those operators that cannot book a test after having taken all reasonable steps to find one will be able to contact DVSA to explain, although it did not publish a way of doing so in this press release.

Original Test Due DateNew Test Due Date
Eligible for 12-month exemptionNot eligible for 12-month exemption
March 2020March 2021September 2020
April 2020April 2021October 2020
May 2020May 2021August 2020
June 2020June 2021September 2020
July 2020July 2021October 2020
August 2020August 2021November 2020
September 2020September 2021December 2020
October 2020October 2021January 2021
November 2020November 2021February 2021
December 2020December 2021March 2021
January 2021January 2022April 2021
February 2021February 2022May 2021
March 2021March 2022June 2021

William Dalrymple

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