How many people in the UK drive without MOT?

car mot
Written by C Wolsey

The MOT test is a must-have for any vehicle that is over three years old. The penalty for driving without a valid MOT test is steep: you can incur points on your license, you can be fined up to £2,500 (although this extreme is usually confined to those whose lack of an MOT has resulted in an accident), and you can even gain a criminal record from it. The police may also seize and crush your car. With all this potential penalty hanging over one, it is easy to assume that no one would ever dare drive without a valid MOT test – and yet it happens more than you might realise! Let’s take a look at who breaks this law and why.

Outright Villainy 

Car thieves and joyriders don’t care about the people whose car they steal; the possible dangers they represent to themselves and others; or about the laws surrounding the roadworthiness of the car. They will often target cars that are off-road as being easy targets that will not be missed, driving them poorly, and sometimes leaving them in far worse condition than they found them. Fortunately, this group is the smallest of those who ignore the requirement for an MOT test.

Hard-Up and Taking a Chance

Of the nearly four million drivers who hit the road without a valid MOT certificate, around one-third knew that their MOT had expired and were either concerned that the vehicle would not pass without expensive repairs or they were so sure that their car was in great condition that it didn’t need an MOT test. The thinking of the latter cohort was that the police would not bother to stop them because their vehicle was in good nick, so they would get away with it! However, ANPR systems are linked into the DVSA’s database and it doesn’t matter how beautifully the car drives: without a valid certificate the ANPR system will flag your vehicle to any traffic police officer whose path you cross and you will find yourself pulled over sooner rather than later, so if you need your MOT in London save your time and money by booking the best MOT test service in London from Elite Direct.

Innocent Explanation

By far the highest number of drivers who were on the road without a valid MOT certificate were those who had no idea that they were breaking the law. Some believed (incorrectly) that they had a grace period of two weeks after the expiry of their MOT certificate; others were not entirely sure when the MOT needed to be done (this can be checked online), and some had no idea that they needed an MOT at all, the latter group often drivers whose car had just reached its third birthday and thus needed its first MOT.

Whatever their reasoning for not having an MOT and continuing to drive, all of these drivers are at risk of getting into trouble with the law if they do not renew their MOT in good time – be MOT savvy and make sure yours is renewed in good time.