What To Do If My MOT Expired?

Has your MOT Expired? Is there an MOT grace period?

All vehicle owners should know that a car must be roadworthy in order to drive it on public roads. That means all cars older than three years have to pass an annual MOT. Driving a car that is not roadworthy can be extremely dangerous to you, your passengers and other road users.

Whether we like it or not, nobody can ignore their MOT without facing consequences. And contrary to what some may believe, there is no ‘two week grace period’ for a lapsed certificate. If you are caught without a valid MOT, you may be prosecuted unless you can prove that you are driving to an examination centre.

How Does An MOT Work?

The purpose of the MOT is to ensure that vehicles meet the minimum safety level required by law. The primary goal is to check vehicle safety and roadworthiness where brakes and emissions receive special attention. An MOT is necessary once a vehicle is three years old and then annually thereafter.

During the test, technicians will conduct an inspection and a comprehensive series of checks around and inside the vehicle. This includes the interior, exterior, under the bonnet and underneath the vehicle. Once the test is completed, you will either receive a Pass or a Fail with the corresponding certificate. If you are one of the 60% that pass annually, you will receive a VT20 MOT certificate.

Remember, the MOT test is only a visual check so examiners are not allowed to make any changes or repairs which is why you still need to book a service. The earliest you can renew your MOT is one month before the due date. If you plan it properly, you can have a certificate that is valid for 13 months. For total peace of mind, you could sign up for the Elite Garages Free MOT reminder service.

MOT Expired? Risks Associated With An Expired MOT

As mentioned earlier, while it is obviously dangerous to drive with an invalid or expired MOT, there are also other associated risk factors. Not having a valid certificate is, in fact, illegal under Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. In addition to your insurance being invalid, you could also receive a £1,000 fine and six to eight points on your licence.

Many drivers still think that getting an MOT is not a major concern. Some are even under the impression that it is fine to do the test a few months past due when it really isn’t. There is NO MOT grace period!

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show how common this is. As much as a third of car owners admit to having driven a car without a valid MOT certificate. Some simply because they were unaware that their MOT expired.

  • Nearly 70% did so for up to a week before taking their vehicle to a testing centre
  • 24% waited a month and 7% more than six months
  • Only 2% allowed their certificate to lapse by more than a year

MOT Rules And Regulations

While many people are truly unaware of all the rules, it is important to understand the consequences of not renewing yours. Here is a brief summary of what you need to know:

  • You can only drive with an expired certificate if you’ve booked a test and you are on your way to the centre
  • In some instances, you may have to produce proof that you have an appointment
  • If you fail a test, you can only drive your car if the previous certificate is still valid. This is possible when the test took place earlier than last year’s.
  • Regardless of the above rule, if the report states that your car is not roadworthy, you may not drive it.
  • You can do MOT tests anytime within the 12-month period as long as it is before the current one expires.
  • Re-testing is free if you complete the required repair work and schedule the second test within 10 working days of the original.
  • Over and above a fine of up to £1,000, they can also impound your vehicle if it has an invalid certificate.

The only vehicles exempt from VAT rules include tractors, electric goods vehicles, cars 3 years or newer and cars and motorbikes made before 1960. If your certificate is invalid and you are involved in an accident, your insurance cover may be null and void leaving you with a hefty repair bill.

Free MOT Reminder Service From Elite Garages

It’s often very easy to forget calendar reminders especially those that only happen once a year. In the case of an MOT, you really shouldn’t put it off for another day. Remember, your local centre does not have to remind you of your test date so make sure you mark it in your diary.

Is there an MOT grace period? No – so if your MOT is about to expire, book an MOT test at your nearest Elite Garages. We provide dealership quality services with greater value and no hidden costs. Our range of services includes car servicing on all makes and models, tyres, batteries and more. You should join the Elite Members Club and sign up for our FREE MOT Reminder Service. You can rest assured that we will take care of everything and get you back on the road safely.

Get in touch today if need any advice, book a service or one of our free vehicle checks. Don’t forget the Elite Promise, “If you find a genuine printed cheaper price for the same product which is in stock we will meet or beat this price at the time of purchase.”

Where can I go for my MOT?