Coronavirus (COVID-19): safely carrying out MOT tests

Guidance for MOT managers and testers on providing MOT tests during coronavirus (COVID-19), including staying open and working safely.

This guidance was withdrawn on

This page has been withdrawn because it’s no longer current.

Check the MOT manuals and special notices and messages in the MOT testing service for the latest information about carrying out MOT tests.

Read more about how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

Stay up to date

This guide tells you about carrying out MOT tests during coronavirus (COVID-19).

It will be updated if anything changes.

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There’s separate guidance for vehicle owners about getting an MOT during coronavirus.

Follow the government guidance about working safely during COVID-19. This includes what you need to do to:

  • manage risk
  • decide who should go to work
  • put social distancing in place
  • manage customers, visitors and contractors
  • clean the workplace
  • wear face coverings safely

Find out about working safely during COVID-19 in England, Scotland and Wales.

Rules on opening

You can continue to provide MOT tests in all parts of Great Britain. This includes in:

  • Tier 1 to 4 areas and the national lockdown in England
  • protection level 0 to 4 areas and the temporary lockdown in Scotland
  • alert level 1 to 4 areas in Wales

If someone becomes unwell in your MOT centre

If anyone has COVID-19 symptoms, they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

Refuse to carry out a test if the customer has symptoms and should be in self-isolation.

Before the MOT test

Reception staff should wear single-use gloves to handle keys.

Viewing and waiting areas

If you can follow social distancing rules, you can allow customers to:

  • view the MOT test
  • wait in reception

You can limit or close these areas if you want to.

You should open the vehicle’s windows 5 minutes before starting the test to ventilate the vehicle.

During the MOT test

Using single-use gloves

Use a new pair of single-use gloves for every test. You should change them:

  • after you’ve finished the interior and exterior checks
  • after each test

This includes the tester and any assistant.

Using seat covers

Use a new seat cover for every cars or passenger vehicle (class 3, 4, 5 and 7) MOT test.

Using assistants

You will need to use assistants at times.

Inside the vehicle

When using an assistant, they should not be inside the vehicle while you carry out the interior checks.

They should only enter the vehicle after you’ve completed the checks and are 2 metres away (where possible) from the driver’s door.

Underside and under-bonnet checks

When using an assistant, they should stay inside the vehicle while you carry out the necessary checks.

The assistant should keep the windows closed if possible. If that’s not possible because it makes it hard to communicate, they should only open the window as far as is necessary so you can hear each other.

The assistant should safely get out of the vehicle as soon as you no longer need their help from inside.

Front suspension checks

Your assistant does not need to repeat these checks if you do not have any concerns:

  • wheels raised (rock and shake the wheels)
  • wheels resting on turning plates

If you feel play but cannot identify the cause, your assistant should repeat the checks while you watch from the underside.

Motorcycles (class 1 and 2 vehicles)

Follow social distancing rules wherever possible when carrying out motorcycle tests. However, this will not be possible for some parts of the test.

You must use an assistant for all parts of the test that need one. However, you should:

  • minimise the time you spend near each other
  • carry out the test to the right quality

At the end of the MOT test

Dispose of single-use gloves in a suitable container and wash your hands.

MOT certificates

Do not print MOT certificates unless the customer needs it for a specific reason.

Tell customers they can download and print the certificate when they get home and check their MOT history.

Taking payments

Avoid handling cash. Use mobile or contactless card payments where possible.

The contactless payment limit in the UK is £45.

Updates to this page

Published 25 March 2020
Last updated 11 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to make it clear that MOT centres can stay open in all areas of Great Britain, including during the national lockdown in England, the temporary lockdown in Scotland, and all of Wales in alert level 4 (lockdown).

  2. Updated to make it clear that MOT centres can stay open in all areas of Great Britain, including Tier 4 areas in England, protection level 4 areas in Scotland, and alert level 4 areas in Wales.

  3. Added information on working safely when carrying out MOT tests during the coronavirus including: - A link to government guidance - using assistants - inside the vehicle checks - underside and under-bonnet checks - front suspension checks - motorcycle tests

  4. Updated the information about taking payments to include using mobile payments, and that the contactless payment limit in the UK will increase to £45 from 1 April 2020.

  5. First published.

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