Millions of motorists are racing to book their MOT tests as garages face a six-month backlog from the Coronavirus lockdown.

Nearly 12 million drivers were eligible for the MOT holiday introduced in March, with nearly two in five (37%) making use of the six-month extension.

However, there are now an estimated four million vehicles in need of an MOT before the end of the year – and garages are battling to fit these in on top of the nearly nine million tests originally due in the next three months.

According to new research from Confused.com, an additional one million more drivers are due to take their car for an MOT in October alone, on top of the 3.6 million tests already due this month.

Motorists who don’t book ahead could risk letting their MOT certificate become invalid if they can’t find a slot quickly enough. Driving without a valid MOT carries a penalty of up to £1,000 and could invalidate a car insurance policy.

“The MOT holiday was a great way to help drivers keep their car on the road during lockdown, without the risk of invalidating their insurance,” said Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com.

“However, with so many people making use of the holiday, there will be a lot of pressure on garages now to keep up with the tests. Make sure you’re booking with plenty of time so you don’t risk driving without a valid MOT.

“Carrying out a few checks on the car will increase your chance of passing without any issues. If you’re confused about how you can do this, we’ve created a checklist to keeping your car roadworthy.