The MOT test exemption introduced by the UK government during the coronavirus lockdown will come to an end on 1 August, it has been announced.

From that date, the automatic six-month extension to expiring test certificates which has been applied since March will no longer be granted, meaning van, car and motorbike operators whose vehicle is due a test will need to get it carried out as normal.

Vehicles with an MOT test due before 1 August will still receive a six-month exemption. However, the Department for Transport has warned that all vehicles must still be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and that motorists can still be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

Vehicle owners are still able to get an MOT test voluntarily inside the six-month extension if they wish.

While only some garages remained open during the height of the lockdown, now more than 90% across the country are said to be open, with MOT testing capacity currently at 70% of normal levels and steadily increasing.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said: “As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

“Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”