Accidentally driving without an MOT in 2023?

It’s illegal to drive a car without a valid MOT certificate unless you are driving to a pre-booked MOT test.

Not only is it deemed unsafe to drive a car that has an expired or failed driving test you are at risk of losing your driving licence or an unlimited fine.

What happens to someone if they accidentally drive without an MOT?

But driving without a valid MOT can have an impact on your car insurance, and you may be liable for a fine.

Here we take a look at what happens to someone if they accidentally drive without an MOT.

What’s the penalty for driving a car without an MOT?

If you are caught without a current certificate, you can be fined £1,000.

If your vehicle is in a dangerous condition, you could be given further fines of up to £2,500, get points on your license, or even be disqualified from driving for at least six months.

Every day, hundreds of drivers are caught without having an MOT. Sometimes intentionally and others simply forget to renew their certificate.

There are over 11,000 automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras throughout the UK which can trace those driving without an MOT.

How your MOT affects car tax

Most vehicles need road tax. To get car tax, you need to prove your vehicle has a valid mot test certificate. This is a legal requirement that you must organise yourself.

Is car insurance still valid without an MOT?

Your vehicle insurance is not valid if your car does not have a valid mot certificate. This means that your car insurance will not cover any repairs or cover if you have an accident – either yours or the other driver’s.

Not having valid car insurance means any repairs would have to come out of your own pocket – not to mention any potential fines involved.

If you are caught accidentally driving without an MOT, you can also receive points on your licence or be issued a driving ban.

How do I know when my MOT is due?

It has never been easier to check when your MOT date is due. You can check online on a national database or look at the paperwork from your previous mot test. Simply search using your vehicle’s number plate.

Check the paperwork that the last MOT test centre would have given you. This certificate will detail when the car’s MOT expires.

You can then write this on your calendar for the month prior so you don’t forget.

Check the validity of a vehicle’s MOT online within minutes – it’s free and easy to use. Simply check the registration number at

You can sign up to receive a free reminder on this website, and some garages send an expiration date reminder too. You may need to give your mobile phone number to receive a free text alert.

Why do I need an MOT?

An MOT ensures your car, or van is roadworthy, and there are minimum standards your car should meet.

An authorised test centre doesn’t just check parts but also checks exhaust emissions, seat belts, brakes, lights and windscreen wipers, amongst other things, to ensure your car doesn’t have any serious problems.

It’s a legal requirement for vehicles unless your car is over 40 years old.

Struggling to afford your MOT, why not look to how to make money with a car.

What is the meaning of MOT?

MOT testing ensures the vehicle is in safe driving condition.

If your car passes, you will receive a 12-month MOT certificate with an expiry date. This confirms the MOT pass. It stands for Ministry of Transport.

All cars over 3 years old need one (unless you have a classic car over 40 years old). If your car fails the MOT, you have a legal duty to fix your car before driving it.

An MOT is not the same as a service

The MOT focuses on safety and will ensure a vehicle meets governmental regulations. Your car will be added to an MOT database.

Can a car with no MOT be parked on the road?

No, you can’t park your car on a road if it has failed its MOT or if the certificate has expired. You have to park your car on private property such as a drive, garage or storage.

Can you drive a SORN car to its MOT without insurance?

Yes – but you must make a pre-booked appointment for an MOT. Then get in touch with your insurance provider and explain the situation.

You’ll be offered temporary insurance to drive to the garage.

Likewise, if you’re wondering how to check if a car is Sorn, you can use or the DVLA website.

Is it safe to drive a car without an MOT?

Unless you can prove that you are driving to get your car repaired or retested, you should not be driving your car without a valid certificate.

Your car may be picked up on an ANPR camera, and you could be fined or receive penalty points on your driving licence or have your car towed away.

Can I drive my car if it fails its MOT?

If your vehicle fails its MOT, you can only drive your car to a testing centre for a proven pre-booked appointment. You may also want to inform your insurance provider about this too.

If you are caught driving without an MOT, you are at risk of having to a pay fine, having points on your licence or losing your licence.

Cars deemed dangerous could be hit with a maximum fee, or have your vehicle towed away.

Can I drive without an MOT to the test centre?

Yes, you can drive your car to an MOT testing centre, but you must have proof of a pre-booked appointment.

Make sure you have confirmation on you in case you are stopped by any police cars and they ask you about your expired mot and any valid insurance.

Police are legally allowed to see proof of your garage appointment. You must have valid temporary car insurance and drive straight to the garage to get your vehicle fixed.

You can also show the police your previous mot certificate and any other valid paperwork.

How much is an MOT test?

The cost of a test varies depending on the size of the car or bike you drive.

The price is set by the DVLA, and there is a maximum price a garage can charge of £54.85.

You will find garages have special offers to entice you in, or free re-tests if you get any repairs done at that test centre.

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