Three quarters of a million MOT tests were still carried out in April 2020, despite motorists having a six month grace period due to COVID-19

Almost three-quarters of a million MOT tests* were still carried out in April 2020, despite the government giving motorists a six-month MOT holiday from 30th March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

An FOI request made by Motorway to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), revealed that 746,157 MOTs took place across the UK in April.  

The number of tests were down 80% on the previous month – with 3,723,524 motorists taking their vehicles in for an MOT in March. Just over 3.5 million MOTs were carried out in April 2019. 

Perth in Central Scotland saw the biggest drop in MOTs last month, with tests down 85.7% compared to March. Inverness saw 85.6% fewer MOTs in April vs March.

More than 20,000 motorists in the Birmingham area (21,324) took their vehicles in for an MOT in April, and 18,170 tests were carried out by garages in the ‘S’ postcode area (Sheffield) last month.

Despite testing falling significantly in April, it’s surprising there were still almost 750,000 inspections carried out last month, after the government announced an MOT holiday.

Any motorists with an MOT due from 30th March have automatically been given a six-month extension. However, vehicles still have to be kept in a roadworthy condition, with garages remaining open for essential repair works.

The following table shows postcode areas with the largest drop in MOTs in April vs March 2020

PostcodePostcode AreaMOTs – March 2020MOTs – April 2020% drop in test numbers
LDLlandrindod Wells3,37052984.3%

The following table shows postcode areas where the most MOTs were carried out in April 2020

PostcodePostcode AreaMOTs – April 2020

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway comments: 

“These figures from the DVSA show that despite motorists having the opportunity to postpone their MOT test, many have chosen not to do so. There could be a number of reasons why; with general car maintenance, ongoing value and safety issues likely at the forefront of many drivers’ minds.

“Saying that, the number of MOTs in April was still substantially lower than March figures, and we expect to see a similar low level of testing in May, as lockdown restrictions have only been eased slightly this month.

“From a cost point of view, cash strapped car owners might consider delaying their MOT for the full six months, but the reality is that the cost of a test is small compared to the human cost if you’re driving a car that has a serious fault or defect.

“Motorists will often have their vehicle serviced at the same time as the MOT, and delaying the test could also mean delaying the annual service, which could flag up mechanical and safety issues that need to be addressed urgently.

“Many garages are still open for MOTs, and anyone driving an older vehicle, which tend to be more susceptible to problems due to wear and tear, might be wise to take their car in close to the original MOT date to give it a full check and service. It will give them the peace of mind that it’s in good condition and mechanically sound at the present time.

”And if owners are looking to protect the value of their car for selling in the future, then a heavily-delayed MOT may be an issue for some buyers. 

“To boost your offer when you sell to a dealer on our website at, we recommend main-dealer servicing and regular MOTs. 

“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.”

Motorway service update

Updated 12/11/2020: We are open for business during the current lockdown. All transactions are completed contact-free.

This post outlines how our service is affected by the current COVID-19 situation and lockdown restrictions in England due to end on Wednesday 2nd December, and what you can expect if you sign up to compare prices on our website at this time.

Motorway works with thousands of dealerships and instant buyers around the UK to provide a range of offers for your car with a single search – helping you find your best deal as quickly as possible.

We will do all we can to secure you the best price possible at the present time, but some final offers may be lower than in normal conditions. Please note that you are under no obligation to accept any offer provided.

To keep you safe, buyers and dealers are purchasing vehicles following social distancing guidelines. All buyers on Motorway buy and collect cars in a contact-free manner.

Please continue to sign up on Motorway, or you can get in touch with questions at any time. You can email us at or call our team on 0203 988 2266 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5.30pm). We are always here to help.

Thank you for your patience. We will update this page as further info becomes available.

Contact-free car selling – how Motorway is keeping sellers and buyers safe

The coronavirus pandemic has caused changes to every UK industry in the past couple of months, and the car trade is no different. Since lockdown restrictions were put in place, it’s not been possible to sell your car easily, with dealerships closing their doors, and car transactions deemed non-essential.

To adhere to the lockdown restrictions and ensure the safety of all our customers and staff, Motorway decided to pause trading for the duration of the March to May 2020 lockdown. 

There’s now light at the end of the tunnel. As all of us in the car industry see restrictions lifting, Motorway has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that when we help our customers buy and sell cars, we do so in a safe, responsible way – and still make sure everyone gets the best possible deal.

This post outlines how we’re ensuring the safety of all our car sellers and buying partners for the challenging months ahead.

A good deal is now a safe deal

Before coronavirus, a great deal on a car meant three things: the right price, a quick process, and minimum hassle for all involved. Since 2017, Motorway has been helping people achieve this by bringing all the best buyers together in one place, providing instant offers to sellers of every kind of car, and making sure buyers are connected to the right seller, instantly.

Now, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect all of us for the foreseeable future, we need to add the safety of sellers and buyers as a key factor in every offer we present.

Contact-free transactions for everyone

We have worked with every buyer on the Motorway platform – from online buyers, to major dealer groups and independent dealerships, to ensure they can all buy cars from sellers in a compliant, contact-free process.

We will now only show deals on Motorway where we know the buyer is able to transact in this way. To make this extra clear, we have outlined the detail of each buyer’s guidelines where we can, with links to more information where available.

Motorway’s contact-free code of conduct

For individual car dealers on our Motorway Pro auction platform, we’ve put together a Code of Conduct, which everyone has to adhere to in order to buy from our sellers. 

This ensures that the collection will happen according to a strict set of guidelines to protect both the buyer and the seller. You can read this Code of Conduct here.

Making contact-free easy: free transport for every buyer

We know that contact-free vehicle transport poses challenges for some buyers, particularly those that don’t have big in-house logistics teams. We want to support our dealers through this transition, and further ensure the safety of everyone involved. 

So, we are going to be paying for the transport and inspection element on behalf of dealers, for two car purchases for each dealer in the first few weeks after restrictions are lifted. See details of the offer here.

Having two free inspections and collections will provide our dealers a great springboard to get back to trading with one of the biggest cost and hassle removed.

Our team has worked closely with our logistics partner, We Deliver Cars, to offer a consistent, safe process to everyone, and make that as easy as possible for every buyer to get started. And we’re doing this at no cost to the buyer for their first two purchases through Motorway after restrictions are lifted. 

We have thousands of buyers on the Motorway platform to support, so this is a big investment for us. But we felt it was our responsibility to help get the car trade moving again in a safe way, support our buyers and sellers, and do so as quickly as possible.

Getting back to business

This has been a challenging year for every business in the UK. We have been working harder than ever to release lots of great improvements to the platform, make it easier than ever to sell a car, and for dealers to acquire the best stock online. 

We are looking forward to pushing service levels in the industry to new heights as we enter the new normal.

If you have any questions about our service, or how you can ensure your safety when you sell your car, feel free to email our team at any time.