If your MOT is close to expiring and you’re struggling to get an appointment with a garage, you might be wondering what happens if you MOT runs out? You might be surprised to learn that the answer to this is nothing. Nothing happens if your MOT runs out. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you consider driving a vehicle without an MOT.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about expired MOTs, from when it’s legal to drive without an MOT to the potential penalties you could face if you’re caught driving with an expired MOT.
Is It Legal To Drive With An Expired MOT?
Once your MOT expires, it is no longer legal to drive your vehicle on a public road. This means that if you are caught driving your car without a valid MOT, you could be prosecuted.
The only exception to this is if you are driving your car directly to a garage for an MOT test. If you are stopped by police during this journey, you will need to be able to prove that you have an appointment booked at a garage for the test to be completed.
Caught Driving Without An MOT – What Is The Penalty?
If you are stopped by police when you’re driving a vehicle without an MOT, you could receive a fine of up to £1,000. However, if the vehicle is deemed to not be roadworthy, the fine could increase to up to £2,500.
In addition to this, if your car is deemed to be dangerous, you could receive three penalty points on your driving licence. If you are caught committing the same offence twice within a three year period, you may also be banned from driving for up to six months.
This highlights the importance of ensuring that your MOT is in date, and taking your car for an MOT test before the expiry date.
Can I MOT My Car Early?
You can take your car for an MOT test at any point before the expiry date of your current MOT certificate. However, if you want to preserve the date of your MOT, you can book your MOT test up to one month before this expiry date. This will ensure that your renewal date stays the same.
If you decide to take your car for an MOT test earlier than one month before its expiry date, the renewal date for your next MOT test will be one year from the date of the test.
How Long Does An MOT Take?
If your car is due an MOT test, you might be wondering how long you can expect the test to take. The duration of your MOT test varies depending on the size and type of vehicle you are driving. However, an MOT should take around 20 minutes to complete.
However, many people choose to drop their car off in a morning and pick it up in an evening to fit in with their work schedule. This also means that the garage can plan their workload easier, as they can fit your car in when they’ve got time to spare, rather than having to work on it at a set time. This could help you to get an appointment for an MOT test sooner.
How Much Is A Car MOT?
The cost of an MOT in the UK will usually vary depending on the individual garage that you choose. However, there is a legal maximum charge which is set by the DVSA. This maximum charge currently stands at £54.85 in 2022.
However, you can often get your MOT for a lower price by shopping around. For example, Halfords currently charges £39.85 for an MOT test. Other garages may offer a free MOT if you book your car in for a full service at the same time, helping you to save money on your MOT and service.
What To Take To An MOT
If your car is booked in for an MOT test, you might be wondering what you need to take with you. The good news is, there aren’t many things that you’ll need to take with you for the appointment.
If it’s your car’s first MOT test, you’ll need to take the vehicle logbook, also known as the VC5. However, if your car has had MOT tests previously, you won’t need to take any documentation with you to the appointment.
Many motorists choose to book their vehicle in for a service at the same time as their MOT test. If this is the case, you’ll need to take your locking wheel nut with you, as well as your vehicle’s service book. This will enable the mechanic to correctly stamp your service log, helping to increase the resale value of your vehicle.
Can You Appeal An MOT Failure?
It can be disheartening if your car fails its MOT test. You may be pleased to learn that it is possible to appeal an MOT failure by getting a second opinion.
To appeal your MOT result, you’ll need to fill out the ‘appeal an MOT test result’ form on the government website. They will then decide whether you can rebook an MOT at another test centre. You’ll need to pay for this, but if your car passes the MOT the second time, you may be able to get a full or partial refund.
If you’re thinking about appealing your MOT result, it’s important that you do not make any repairs to your vehicle before it has been retested, as this could invalidate the appeal.
Do You Get 14 Days Grace For An MOT?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no grace period for MOT testing. This means that the expiry date that you see on your certificate is the final deadline for having your car tested.
Once you go past this date, you can no longer drive your car legally on a public road until you have had an MOT test conducted. So, there is no grace period for MOT testing.
What Happens If You Miss MOT Date?
If you miss your MOT date, your car’s MOT certificate will expire. This means that you are no longer able to legally drive your car on a public road and your car insurance is no longer valid.
However, there is no automatic penalty for your car’s MOT expiring unless you attempt to drive it on a public road. So, if you miss your car’s MOT date, you will not receive a penalty unless you drive without a valid MOT.
If you are caught driving without a valid MOT certificate, you could receive a fine of up to £1,000, as well as receiving three penalty points on your driving licence. For this reason, it is essential that you are aware of when your MOT expires and that you do not drive your vehicle after this date without first taking your car for an MOT test.
Do You Get MOT Reminders?
There are no automatic reminder for an MOT test. You will not receive a letter, text or email from the DVSA – ensuring that your car has a valid MOT in place is your responsibility as the registered owner of the vehicle and the driver.
Some garages will offer a reminder service, sending you a letter, email or text a month before your MOT is due. It’s a good idea to check with your local garage whether they offer this service.
Alternatively, you can set a reminder in your phone calendar for a month before your MOT is due. This is the earliest point at which you can take your car for an MOT test without altering the renewal date of your MOT.
How Often Does A Car Need An MOT?
MOT tests usually need to be done every year to keep your car roadworthy and legal. However, if you purchase a new car, it will not need an MOT until it is three years old – that’s by the third anniversary of its registration.
You can check when your MOT is due using the government’s ‘Check MOT Status’ tool. This will tell you whether your vehicle has a current valid MOT and when it is due for renewal.
Can I Drive My Car If MOT Expired But Booked In?
When your car’s MOT expires, you are no longer legally allowed to drive your vehicle on a public road until it has passed an MOT test. This applies whether or not you have got an MOT booked in. So, it’s best to book your MOT test early to ensure that you can get an appointment before your MOT expires.
The only time that you are legally able to drive a car without an MOT is if you are directly on your way to your MOT test. If this is the case, you must be able to prove that you have an MOT test booked if you are stopped by police during your journey.
Are You Insured If Your MOT Has Run Out?
Most car insurance policies are issued on the condition that your vehicle has a valid MOT certificate. This means that if you have an accident whilst driving a car with an expired MOT, your insurance policy may not cover you.
Additionally, if you are caught driving without a valid MOT, you may also be charged with driving without valid insurance, as your expired MOT may have invalidated your insurance policy.
This is why it’s so important to ensure that you take your car for an MOT test before its expiry date, to avoid potential penalties for driving without a valid MOT or insurance policy.
How Do Police Check MOT?
One way that police check whether a vehicle has a valid MOT is through the use of ANPR cameras. These camera take a snapshot of a vechicle’s registration plate and check this against the national database. By doing this, the police can quickly tell whether a vehicle has a valid MOT certificate, insurance policy and road tax.
Having a valid MOT certificate is a legal requirement of driving on public roads in the UK. For this reason, it’s essential that you ensure that you have a valid MOT certificate before driving your vehicle.
If you find that your MOT has expired, you might be wondering what happens if your MOT runs out. Whilst there is no automatic action that will be taken for an expired MOT certificate, if you are caught driving on a public road without an MOT, the penalties can be severe.