Driving without an MOT

The risks of driving with no MOT

If your vehicle is more than 3 years old (and it's not a taxi), it must have an MOT test each year to show that it's roadworthy and safe to drive.

In this article

Book your MOT with Smart Care

Book an MOT

Is it legal to drive without an MOT?

No, it's illegal to drive without a valid MOT certificate, and you can be fined up to £1,000. 

Your vehicle's MOT status is accessible by police cars and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, so you can be caught driving without one.

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Is car insurance valid without an MOT?

Insurers usually require that your vehicle is roadworthy or safe to drive, and it has a valid MOT test certificate.

So if you drive without an MOT, this would likely invalidate your car insurance.

The penalties for driving while uninsured include a £300 fine and up to 6 points on your licence.

The police also have the power to seize, and in some cases destroy, a vehicle that's being driven uninsured. And if the case goes to court you could get an unlimited fine and also be disqualified from driving.

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Can a car be taxed without an MOT?

No, which means that you could get an additional fine for having an untaxed vehicle.

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Can you drive after a failed MOT test?

If your vehicle fails its MOT test on a major defect, you can still drive it until the current certificate expires.

However, the vehicle must still have a minimum level of roadworthiness, such as the lights and brakes work, and car or van tyres have at least 1.6mm of tread.

You must not drive your vehicle If dangerous defects were found. It's an offence to drive a vehicle in a dangerous condition – you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and receive 3 penalty points.

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Can you drive to a garage without an MOT?

You can't legally drive or park your vehicle on the road if its MOT has expired.

If you don't have a valid MOT, you can only drive straight to a garage for a pre-booked repair or MOT test.

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MOT test from AA Smart Care

When you book an MOT you get:

  • Testing at AA approved garages.
  • Quick and easy online booking and payment.
  • Repair parts and labour are guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles.
  • Fair, transparent pricing.

And if you book a service with an MOT, you can get free vehicle collection and return, subject to availability.

If your car does fail its MOT and you'd like us to make the necessary repairs, we can carry out your retest for free.

Author: The AA

Book your MOT test at an AA approved local garage

Free collection and return when you book a service with an MOT, subject to availability. Repair parts and labour are guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles.