The DVSA has suspended vehicle tests for two days to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The move comes as hauliers reported that they were struggling to book vehicle inspections and MOTs due to shortfalls of staff.

A DVSA spokesman said: “We are working to put contingency plans in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including suspending driver and vehicle tests for an initial period of two days from 19/3/2020.

“A testing service will still be available to those who have a critical need, such as the NHS and drivers delivering goods across the UK.

“Further guidance will be issued in due course.”

The DVSA added that car and van MOTs were operating as normal.

Dave Ashford, transport director at Purfleet-based KBC Logistics, said all vehicle tests in his area this week had been cancelled: “There is no chance to get them in anywhere else so my options are to stand them up or run them anyway, annual testing is an absolute farce,” he said.

“I will wait until next week if it doesn’t improve I will start making a noise. The supermarkets will definitely run out of toilet roll if our trucks are stood up.”

The FTA said the legal responsibilities of logistics businesses to keep their fleets safe and compliant remained the same and that its vehicle inspection service (VIS) would be operational throughout the pandemic.

Tony Gibbs, FTA VIS general manager, said: “As small, local garages struggle to cope with the temporary loss of staff due to illness or self-isolation, our members have reported significant challenges in trying to book their regular vehicle inspections; we are here to help fill this shortfall.

“By working together, we can keep the economy running as smoothly as possible.”