Drivers across the UK are being warned they face a £1,000 fine if they don’t get ahead of a huge MOT backlog expected next month.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the MOT exemption was introduced as garages were forced to close amid lockdown.

As a result, there are an increased number of vehicles which must pass an MOT test in September.

Cars, motorcycles and vans were given a six-month extension between May and July last year during the first lockdown and as a result more vehicles will find that their MOT is up within the next few months.

According to an AA survey, 20 per cent of 14,688 motorists surveyed took part in the MOT exemption scheme.

The results suggest as many as 5.5 million vehicles have delayed MOTs with many drivers booking the test in September last year, meaning their time is up once more next month.

On top of the increased demand due to the backlog, there will also be 339,000 new cars bought in September 2018 which will be due to take an MOT test for the first time.

AA head of roads policy Jack Cousens said: "With more than 5.5 million cars deferring an MOT it is crucial that they are tested to ensure they are safe to use.

"MOT centres are already feeling the strain and with 'Super September' looming, savvy drivers can get ahead of the game. Don't delay, book today.

"Usually people leave booking their MOT to the last possible moment. Drivers won't have that luxury this time."

During an MOT test, vehicles are inspected on a number of safety aspects including lights, brakes, seatbelts and tyres.

A driver is responsible for booking and MOT every 12 months to ensure their vehicle is road worthy.

Using a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate can lead to fines of up to £1,000.