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There are up to 1.6 million unsafe cars on UK roads following the government’s six-month Coronavirus MOT extension, according to research carried out by Motorway.co.uk.

The car sales comparison website found that more than five million UK motorists took advantage of the government’s half-year test exemption, skipping MOTs on their car in April and May this year.

The data revealed that test volumes fell below 750,000 in April, 79% down compared to April in the previous year, where over 3.5 million vehicles were tested.

In May, some 1.5 million drivers took their vehicles in for an MOT as lockdown measures gradually started to ease, still well under half of the 3.6 million tests conducted in the same month just a year earlier.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Director of Sales and Operations at AX, commented: “As drivers get back on the roads and traffic levels rise, anybody who has taken advantage of the MOT extension should make a conscious effort to treat their vehicle carefully and book an inspection at the earliest opportunity. Mechanical faults can appear at any time, especially if a car is well past its MOT deadline.

“In all likelihood, this means that some failures – the most common being faulty brakes - will cause unavoidable shunts. With such incidents more probable, drivers will value an accident aftercare provider that offers a service which gets them back on the road as quickly as possible while remaining sympathetic to the anxieties that car accidents frequently cause.