Can You Drive Your Car Without an MOT?

If your vehicle fails its MOT test you aren’t allowed to drive it further, unless you are driving to a pre-booked repair and MOT appointment and no serious faults were found on your vehicle.

MOT testing follows a strict set of criteria which has been set out by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), and your car must meet the minimum standards required in order to pass it.

However, research suggests that over four million drivers have admitted to driving their vehicle without a valid MOT. Without a valid MOT certificate, you won’t be able to renew your annual road tax and more importantly, you will be driving your car illegally.

What happens if I’m caught driving without a valid MOT?

Recent modernisation of the DVSA system for testing MOT has equipped the police and camera units with the capability to detect if a vehicle has an invalid MOT.

Being caught driving without a valid MOT certificate could result in a police caution, but in some cases it can carry the penalty of massive fines of up to £2,500. Fines can also include points on your licence or a driving disqualification in more severe cases.

If your car is involved in a traffic accident, you’ll be asked to produce an up-to-date MOT certificate. If you don’t possess one, any insurance claims that need to be made could well be affected. This is usually the case if the incident resulted in physical injury.

It’s a wise idea to keep your MOT valid to avoid these needless situations. There are effective options available for your use that will ensure you never forget a test, so make sure you take advantage of them. For example, tests can be booked up to a month prior to the date your current MOT needs attention without losing the expiry date that pre-exists.

What do you need to bring to an MOT check?

Taking your car for an MOT test is not difficult. You won’t need to take any details or supporting paperwork. You only need to take your vehicle to the test. Using the comprehensive DVSA database, your tester will find your car and discover all your existing details needed for the MOT.

Can you drive your car without MOT to a testing centre?

While it shouldn’t be necessary if you plan properly, you can drive your vehicle to a testing centre without an MOT, but if you’re stopped by the police, you will have to show proof of your appointment. Regardless of your booking, however, if your vehicle is shown to be dangerous then you may still face a penalty.

Can you drive a car without MOT to a garage?

For the safety of yourself and others, if your car is discovered to possess a defect that is deemed dangerous by your MOT tester and fails, you should never drive it from the place of testing until the fault is fully fixed and your vehicle roadworthy once more. It is unlawful to drive a vehicle that endangers lives. This rule applies in every case whether a car has an up-to-date MOT certificate or not.

A testing centre doesn’t have the authority to stop a customer from driving away in a vehicle they’ve examined and failed, although they are likely to advise against it. If you choose to do so, you can drive your faulty vehicle to a garage for repair but you’ll be taking the risk of facing a huge fine, points on your licence, or even a ban if caught by the police or camera units.

There are MOT centres run by the local authorities that often don’t offer repair services when vehicles fail. In some cases, not all garages offering MOT will be able to handle failed parts in vehicles if they are not full service. For necessary welding or other issues, sometimes a speciality repairer is required.

Rather than risk the unnecessary lawbreaking that may result in expensive and, in the worst case, harmful incidents, it’s a better idea to arrange to have your dangerous vehicle collected and taken to the garage by a breakdown company. At a cost to yourself, you should arrange to have your vehicle towed and taken to the garage where the essential repairs will be carried out. The cost for driving an unsafe vehicle could be far more serious.

Is car insurance invalid without MOT?

While it will vary depending on policy and the nature of your incident, in many cases when your MOT certificate reaches its expiry date, your insurance becomes invalid. If you are part of a traffic accident, you won’t be insured by your provider and will have to cover any repair costs yourself.

If fault for the accident falls with you, damages caused to any other involved vehicles will be your responsibility – which can be highly expensive. To add to this, driving without valid cover is illegal; so, if caught, you can face fines which are unlimited, a six-to-eight-point penalty or even a ban.

How to avoid driving without invalid MOT

Make sure your MOT is always in date by setting a reminder on your mobile or signing up for a free reminder, which can come to you via email or text.

You can check when your MOT is due here. All you need to do is enter your car’s registration number to access the answers.

For the safety of yourself and others, take responsibility for your actions and your car and make sure your MOT certificate stays up-to-date. If you have an MOT test coming up and need reliable service, get in touch with your local Kwik Fit garage.

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