Covid: 9.5 million vehicles in UK await MOT amid lockdown backlog

Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

ITV News has seen new unpublished figures on the sheer scale of Britain's MOT backlog due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vehicles requiring a safety test were exempt between March and July due to lockdown. Now garages must catch up, leading to a surge in demand.

Long queues have been spotted at test centres and some in the trade say they are having to ask customers to wait longer before vehicles can be booked-in.

Today, I met Suzanne Hill in Hertfordshire who relies on her car, because health conditions make public transport too risky for her. She told me she's had sleepless nights after visiting several garages who were fully booked as she tried to get a new MOT.

She said: "They are just not taking cars at the moment its just so busy, its mad. I tried three places that couldn’t do it... if I don’t get it today I don’t know what I'm going to do".

Figures seen by ITV News show 9.5million vehicles in Britain were exempt from MOTs for six months - but only half of those have since had one.

Motorists are facing long waits to get a MOT checks on their vehicles Credit: PA

It's now predicted demand will grow by more than 50% over the next three months which could mean delays for many drivers.

Many drivers fear higher bills as mechanical problems have built up over the lockdown months and the AA's spokesman Edmund King advises drivers to plan carefully.

He said: “The concern now is that there might be just over a million cars out there that have fairly serious faults that have not been picked up. The message to all drivers is don't wait until your MOT runs out, book early and get it sorted out now.”