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Driving without a valid MOT – Is it illegal and how much can you be fined?


MOT test UK

Driving without a valid MOT certificate could land you a hefty fine in the UK (Image: GETTY)

The is an annual requirement of the majority of motorists on the roads in the UK.

Only drivers whose cars are less than three years old and those whose vehicles are.

However, despite it being public knowledge that the test is a requirement of most drivers, a large majority still forget when the test is every year.

This can be because of a number of factors including genuinely just forgetting the date to actively putting it off over worries about cost.

While the test is relatively inexpensive it can lead to costly repairs off any faults with the vehicle are found.

Driving without a valid MOT certificate can also lead to some costly punishments.

Motorists can be fined up to £1,000 if they’re caught without a valid certificate.

Not only this, but you could also inadvertently be putting yourself and other drivers at risk of an accident.

Parts of a car will over time wear and could become faulty even if the car is seemingly behaving fine.

This could include faulty or worn tyres or things such as damaged suspension etc.

While the repair of these parts could cost hundreds of pounds to repair, it could cost a lot more if the motorist is caught on the road with the fault.

For example, if a motorist was stopped after causing an accident and the case was attributed to faulty tyres the tyre that is damaged alongside the £1,000 for not having a valid certificate.

A recent survey revealed that thousands of drivers regularly put off taking the MOT test or forget to.

Diesel particulate filter

Testing for diesel cars has become stricter under the new test rules (Image: GETTY)

When do you need to get an MOT?

Motorists must get their car an MOT test on the third anniversary of its registration if they bought it new.

Alternatively, if the car is older than this, it needs to be taken on the anniversary of its last MOT.

When can you get an MOT?

According to the DVLA, you can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keeps the same renewal date.

If, however, you do get it earlier then your next MOT test day will change.

For example, your MOT is due to run out on 15 May, so the earliest you can get it done is 16 April.

However, you take your vehicle for its MOT on 14 April and it passes.

This means that the MOT expiry date changes to 13 April the following year.

What happens if my MOT runs out, can I still drive?

No, you must not drive on the road if your car does not have a valid MOT certificate.

Motorists caught can be prosecuted and handed a £1,000 fine.

There are, however, two exceptions to this.

They are if you on your way to or from somewhere to be repaired and/or to a pre-arranged MOT test.

classic cars

Car that are over 40 years old will no longer need t take the MOT test (Image: GETTY)

Where do I get a test done?

You must get your MOT test come by an approved MOT test centre.

Only centres showing the blue sign with three white triangles can legally take out your MOT test.

You can contact any approved MOT test centre over the phone or online to book a test.

How much does it cost?

Thankfully for motorists, there is a maximum fee a test centre can charge you for a test.

This is £54.85 for a car and £29.65 for a standard motorcycle.

Can I drive my car if it fails the MOT test?

Motorists can also be fined if they drive their car if it lands certain faults.

You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points for driving a vehicle that has failed its MOT because of a ‘dangerous’ problem.

Earlier this year the were introduced which included three new fault categories – Minor, Major and Dangerous.

They grade the severity of faults for motorists. Cars which land a Minor fault can still pass the roadworthiness test but the issue will be marked down on the test certificate and will need to be addressed in due course.

Major and Dangerous faults result in an instant failure they shouldn’t be driven on the roads until they’re fixed.

However, drivers with a major fault are allowed to drive the vehicle to another test centre to get it fixed. Dangerous faults should be fixed there and then.

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I'm a 50 year old PLC programmer from Burnley, UK. I severed my time as an electrician in the baking industry and soon got involved with the up and coming technology of PLC's. Initially this was all based in the Uk but as the years went by I have gradually worked my way around the globe. At first it was mainly Mitsubishi with a bit of Modicon thrown in but these days the industry leaders seem to be the Allen Bradley range of PLC and HMI’s.

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