The least troublesome way for anybody to remember the answer to this question, is to consider that it is a yes.
While it is less important to remember the specific legal minutiae regarding this, your insurance actually becomes invalid under ‘Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988’, from the moment your vehicle no longer has a valid MOT certificate. This entails that driving a car without an MOT could lead to the risk of a £1,000 fine, and charge of six-to-eight penalty points on your license.
What would this mean for me?
It goes without saying that if you incur this charge, not only will you still have to pay for the MOT, in order to keep using your vehicle, but you will also have to pay the fine, and maybe incur higher insurance premiums in the future as a result. If you have been involved in an accident during this unfortunate slip of the MOT-renewal-mind, you may also be liable to cover the cost of the accident.
The accumulated fees from will most likely add up to far beyond the cost of an average MOT (which should be a comparably measly £30 – £50). Subsequently, it’s best to ensure that your MOT certificate is up to date, if you want to avoid paying these easily avoided costs.
But what if I’ve lost my MOT certificate?
If you’re not sure when your MOT certificate is due to be renewed, or have even misplaced the document, you can check here when, or if, it has expired. In the event that you simply cannot find your existing certificate, your first point of call should be your MOT service centre, who can issue a replacement.
In fact, as long as you have the log book (V5C), any MOT service centre will be able to replace your existing certificate, using just this and your vehicle’s registration number. This means that if you’ve moved house since the date of your last MOT, you don’t have to spend hours travelling to replace it.
There is a standard charge for you using this service, which will either be £10.00, or half the cost of the last MOT. It’s certainly a useful resource to be able to access, in the event of a lost or damaged original.
What can I do if my MOT has expired?
If it transpires that in the last few days your MOT has expired, don’t start panicking just yet. If you find yourself in this situation, you are eligible to drive your vehicle – but only to take it straight for its MOT. If, for some reason, you are stopped by the police on the way to have your vehicle MOT’d, you may be asked to produce evidence that you are indeed on the way to resolve the issue.
This does sound like an unlikely scenario. However, with all UK vehicles’ Road Tax and MOT now kept on secure government databases, others may realise your MOT has expired before you do. The Driving Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), for instance, automatically make monthly checks on the status of every vehicle in their database – MOT certificates included.
Vehicles without this valid certificate automatically have their license plates passed into the Automatic Number Plate Recognition Scheme (ANPR). With ANPR operating in the dashboard systems of many police cars, it would only be a matter of time before an invalid MOT certificate was registered by this system.
What can I do to make sure I’m always up to date?
Thankfully, there are several positive steps you could take to make sure your MOT is sorted in the correct, legally required timeframe. To ensure this perfectly avoidable scenario doesn’t impact your finances and wellbeing, try one or more of the following simple solutions:
- Ask your MOT service station if they send out automatic reminders to their customers – many will offer this service as it stimulates repeat business, and gives their customers peace of mind
- Set up an automatic DVLA MOT text reminder. This service does cost £1.50 to use, but given the outgoings it can help avoid, is certainly worth considering
- Make a note of the date your existing MOT began, and work out a reasonable timeframe for you to book the next appointment, before it expires
This last point is especially crucial – working out when exactly to book your MOT for. With it being an annual requirement, it seems to make sense that sticking to the same date, every calendar year, will work out more straightforward. However, your MOT can be booked up to one month before the certificate expires, and it is recommended to make use of this time.
Allowing for any repairs to be completed, or parts to be ordered and fitted, the vehicle itself must also be retested of it fails for any reason. The new MOT certificate, however, will usually start from the expiry date of the previous one. Leaving your MOT until close to the date of expiry could result in you being without a roadworthy car – and leave your insurance entirely invalid until the necessary work is done on the vehicle.
All up to date and looking to save money?
Hopefully, any concerns you had over where you stand with your MOT certificate are now alleviated, and you’re unlikely to be receiving any related fines any time soon. But, this doesn’t mean you’re not in a position to save even more money.
We’re here not only to provide advice on ensuring you don’t suffer any unnecessary complications related to your MOT, but to give you excellent choices when it comes to the very valid insurance of your vehicle.
If you need help finding the best quote on your car insurance, why not contact us at Call Wiser today, to see how we can help?