Can I tax and insure a car without an MOT?

Bradley Jando | Monday 5th October 2020 11:16am

Van Driving Past a Sign at an MOT Test Centre

In order to renew your annual road tax on your vehicle you will need a valid MOT certificate. While you can technically insure your car without a valid MOT certificate, it’s a little more complicated than that. It’s important to note that without an MOT certificate, your insurer is unlikely to cover you in the event of an accident.

When taxing your vehicle, your vehicle will be checked to ensure that it has a valid MOT certification, so this will need to be obtained before it can be taxed. Driving without a valid MOT certificate is illegal and doing so may invalidate your insurance policy.

Why do I need to have a valid MOT to tax my vehicle?

Vehicle tax is often misunderstood. It’s sometimes called ‘road tax’, promoting the belief that it’s exclusively a tax for maintaining roads. It’s actually an ‘excise duty’ – which means it’s a tax on goods and services that damage consumer health or the environment. And this tax doesn’t actually pay for roads – at least not directly.

So, vehicle tax is applied to all vehicles that use public roads (either for driving or parking) and damage the environment – namely, petrol and diesel vehicles. As of April 2017, however, new all-electric vehicles are exempt from vehicle tax because the tax is now essentially a ‘hydrocarbon’ tax.

If you don’t have a valid MOT certificate, you’re not legally allowed to drive on public roads.

What happens to my insurance if my car fails its MOT?

If your vehicle has failed an MOT test booked prior to its expiry date then insurers will often cover the vehicle up until its expiry, unless the vehicle is listed as having dangerous faults on the MOT. We recommend contacting your insurer to ensure they provide cover following an MOT failure.

What happens to my remaining months of tax if my vehicle fails its MOT

If you decide to repair your vehicle and it is still covered by in-date car tax and insurance then you will be able to drive your vehicle as normal after obtaining a passed MOT certification. If you decide not to repair the vehicle then you should declare your vehicle off road, in which case you will get a refund on any full months of remaining tax.

You can declare your car off road by applying online on the GOV website.

How to check when your MOT is due

If you are unsure when your MOT is scheduled to expire, you can find out using our free search tool online. All you need is your vehicle registration.

Book your MOT

If you need to book an MOT inspection, you can book at one of our 500 test centres throughout the UK. As the UK’s number 1 MOT tester you can rest assured that your vehicle is in good hands.

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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