MOT test exemptions may see drivers use their vehicles for essential journeys despite not meeting basic safety standards. The IMI says they are “very concerned” motorists could be placing themselves in danger as new analysis shows a third do not feel confident doing long journeys.
More than one in ten road users are concerned their vehicle is not roadworthy at all after not being checked for so long.
Meanwhile a quarter of those surveyed revealed they are worried the car might breakdown after not being used for three months.
Amid concerns road users may be putting themselves at risk, the IMI is pushing for motorists to have an MOT test done now.
Taking a test will ease motorists’ concerns while on the road and put their mind at rest that a car is in a road legal and safe condition.
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Steve Nash, spokesperson for the IMI said: “While nearly one in five (19 percent) of respondents cited taking advantage of the MOT extension because they didn’t want to take additional health risks.
“For those whose MOT has already expired – notwithstanding the government’s extension – it would make sense to get the MOT undertaken now”.
“MOT Testing Centres are open and ready to help drivers – with all the appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures in place.”
Mr Nash added: “There are claims that more than a million vehicles due for their MOT since lockdown are likely to have failed.
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“Combined with the fact that more than a third of the motorists don’t feel confident to do longer journeys, we are very concerned that drivers are running the risk of getting behind the wheel of unroadworthy cars, putting themselves and other road users at risk.”
Shockingly the IMI reveals one in ten motorists are unaware of the risks of being fined if their car is found to be in a dangerous condition.
Motorists could be fined up to £2,500 and issued penalty points while charges could rise based on individual defects.
Fines of £2,500 and three points can be issued per tyre which is under the minimum guidelines which may see some motorists face an instant ban if all four are affected.
Despite the risks, research from the IMI revealed only 26 percent of road users admitted to checking their tyre depth under lockdown.
In severe cases road users may be issued a charge for dangerous driving which can see motorists hit with a £5,000 fine.
Just a third of road users said they have tested their brakes while 32 percent revealed they have checked their water levels.
Analysis by the IMI revealed a serious lack in confidence among road users returning to their road after months away under lockdown.
Their research revealed 72 percent of those between 25 and 34 said they were nervous about getting back behind the wheel compared to 47 percent of 35 and 33 year olds.
Londoners were seriously worried about returning to their cars with 57 percent admitting to being nervous compared to just 18 percent of drivers in Scotland.
The IMI says the major difference may be down to the past reliance on public transport for their travel.
Many have stated their intention to ditch transport and return to their cars or buy an used vehicle in a desperate bid to avoid any social contact.
Mr Nash said: “It seems many drivers are nervous about getting back on the road, and their vehicles may be unroadworthy too.
“Which is why we are strongly urging drivers to use the IMI Professional Register to identify the local garages that employ appropriately qualified individuals, and book their car for a service and/or MOT as soon as they can.”