A survey has found that drivers are ‘unclear’ on the MOT rules relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Early on in the lockdown, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that cars that had MOTs expiring from March 30 onwards would be granted an automatic six-month extension.

However, a survey by Venson Automotive Solutions (VAS) has found that many motorists are not clear on the rules, with 69 per cent unclear about when the MOT extension came into play.

The DfT continues to stress that motorists must keep their vehicles in a roadworthy state during this time, while motorists can be prosecuted for driving vehicles that aren’t safe. However, the survey found that more than a quarter of drivers had not carried out basic vehicle health checks since the lockdown on March 23.

More positively, though, more than half of drivers had checked their tyre pressures, while 49 per cent had ran their engine regularly to keep the battery charged. Meanwhile 39 per cent had checked tyre tread depths, 42 per cent had looked at their vehicle’s oil level and 34 per cent had made sure their brake lights functioned properly.

The firm, which offers automotive solutions to fleets, is urging company car drivers and motorists to look after their vehicles during this time.

Alison Bell, marketing director at VAS, said: “When lockdown is eased, businesses will be keen to begin to make up for lost time, so the last thing they need is drivers to be out of action due to a flat tyre, flat battery, or worse.

“It’s great to see that half of the respondents have checked their tyre pressure and run the engine to keep the battery charged. This is a simple bit of maintenance which is often neglected but could save hundreds of pounds if the vehicle has to be off the road for repairs.”