When is it legal to drive without an MOT certificate?

The MOT test ensures that all vehicles are roadworthy so, in most situations, driving without one is illegal. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. Read on to find out what the penalties are for driving without a valid MOT certificate and when you are able to drive without one.

Is it illegal to drive your car without an MOT?

The simple answer is yes, it is illegal to drive a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate and you could face a hefty fine if you choose to do so. MOT tests are required by law to ensure that the driver, any passengers and other road users are safe when the vehicle is on the road - so a car with a valid MOT certificate will have been cleared for any broken parts or potentially dangerous defects. It is illegal to drive without a valid MOT certificate after your car is over three years old because of the potential danger you could put not only yourself in, but other road users, too.

Learn more about what an MOT test is in our Ultimate Guide to MOT Certificates.

What penalties can you incur from driving without a valid MOT?

Ensuring that all cars over the age of three years old have a valid MOT is vital for road safety and, consequently, the penalties for not having one are very steep. If you are found driving without a valid certificate, you could receive a police caution or a fine of up to £1,000. These fines may also include points on your licence or, in extreme cases, a driving disqualification.

Furthermore, if your vehicle is involved in a collision or any other traffic accident, you will be required to produce a valid MOT certificate. Those who fail to do so often find their insurance claims are affected, especially if the accident resulted in physical injury.

The cost of an MOT is far cheaper than the potential costs that you could incur if you're found without a valid certificate. To make sure you never miss another MOT, sign up for the Government's MOT reminder service here.

When is it legal to drive without an MOT certificate?

Although, in most cases, driving without a valid MOT certificate is completely illegal, there are some exceptions:

  • If your vehicle is less than three years old - you are not required to have an MOT certificate if your vehicle is relatively new. However, many car owners choose to get a yearly service car service before this date to ensure everything on your vehicle is functioning as it should be.
  • If you are driving to the MOT test centre - this shouldn't be necessary with proper planning, but if you are unable to get an appointment before your previous certificate expires, you are permitted to drive your car to the test centre for a pre-arranged appointment.
  • If you are driving to repair services - there are some test centres, run by local authorities, that do not offer repair services. Additionally, there are some test centres which may not have the capabilities to repair your car. If your vehicle has failed an MOT, you are permitted to drive your vehicle to a garage that can carry out the necessary repairs.

Need to book an MOT test before your certificate runs out? We've got you covered - book an MOT test online today at your local Setyres Garage or contact us and one of our helpful technicians will be able to help.

Posted on: 28/06/2021

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