It’s very easy to ignore those calendar reminders that it’s time for the annual car MOT and put it off for another day.
But those that do not only risk a large fine, they would also invalidate their car insurance, so that if they have a crash, they’d have to pay for repairs, or possibly even a written off car, themselves.
It’s not worth the risk
Driving without an up-to-date MOT certificate for your car isn’t to be taken lightly. Many drivers think it’s something they don’t have to worry about too much and that having it done even a few months after the expiry date is fine.
Recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show how common an attitude this is with a third of car owners admitting to having driven a car without a valid MOT certificate.
Almost 70% did so for up to a week before taking their vehicle to an MOT testing centre, while 24% waited a month and 7% more than six months. A minority, 2%, allowed their MOT to lapse by more than half a year.
What are the rules?
Many people are genuinely unaware of the rules when it comes to MOTs, so it’s worth understanding the consequences of not keeping yours valid and up-to-date.
Rules relating to MOTs and driving your vehicle:
- You’re only allowed to drive your car when its MOT has expired if you’ve booked an MOT and are driving to the test centre.
- If you’re stopped by the police on the way, you’ll have to be able to prove that you have an appointment.
- If your car fails its MOT, you can only drive it if the previous year’s MOT is still valid (i.e. the test took place on a date earlier than last year’s).
- If your vehicle is deemed ‘un-roadworthy’ the above doesn’t apply and you can’t drive it.
- MOTs can be done anytime within the 12 month period before the existing MOT expires.
- Retesting should be free if the necessary repair work has been carried out and the re-test completed within 10 working days of the original MOT test.
- Exemptions – The following vehicles are exempt from VAT rules: Tractors, goods vehicles that run on electricity, vehicles less than 3 years old and cars and motorbikes made before 1960.
- Fines – A fine of up to £1,000 can be levied, and a vehicle possibly impounded if it’s found to have an invalid MOT certificate.
The bottom line is that if your MOT is out of date and you’re involved in a crash, your insurer may declare your cover to be invalid, leaving you to pay the costs of repairing your car.
In other words, driving without a valid MOT carries a great deal of financial risks, and could cost you a small fortune in fines and repairs.
Even worse, you could suffer extreme emotional distress or life-long guilt if a faulty vehicle you owned injured or killed someone after going wrong on the road.
The customer service team at Policy Expert is always on hand to help – either online or over the phone. Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 16 January 2015