by Steve Martindale
The Coronavirus lockdown was introduced as a public health measure, but the effects of quarantine have impacted all aspects of life. The government has gradually been introducing legislation to mitigate these problems, but one grey area that quickly emerged surrounded the contrôle technique (CT), the French equivalent of the MOT.
It is illegal to drive without a valid CT, and if your car fails with minor faults you usually have two months to fix any problems. Many drivers were due to renew their car’s CT during recent weeks or were already in the two-month period when the lockdown began, which has left thousands in limbo. Although contrôle technique centres are among the list of businesses allowed to remain open, many have chosen to close to protect their employees. As a result, many drivers are unsure as to whether they can legally drive their vehicles to make essential journeys.
In response, the government has announced that expired CTs will remain valid for a further three months after their current expiry date. For drivers of heavy goods vehicles, the extension is limited to 15 days. If your car was due to have its CT renewed before the lockdown began or is currently in the two-month period before a contre-visite, you can still drive it legally in the short term.
Should the lockdown be extended, or if CT centres are overloaded in the wake of the backlog created by the quarantine, the grace period could be extended.