What is an MOT Certificate?
An MOT (Ministry of Transport now known as the Department of Transport) is a certificate issued by a mechanic, who confirms that the vehicle meets what is acceptable to the environment and to road safety standards required by UK legislation. Every registered vehicle being used on public roads must hold an MOT certificate and must be renewed every 12 months, unless the vehicle is exempt.
What Happens if I Don’t have an MOT?
Failure to hold a valid MOT is an offence under Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and can result in a fine of up to £1000. The offence of driving without an MOT does not carry penalty points although most policies of insurance will become invalid without an MOT being in place, which could lead to an offence of driving without insurance which carries between 6 and 8 penalty points.
As stated above, an MOT must be renewed every 12 months and it is the registered keeper of the vehicle who is responsible for ensuring that this is done. There is currently no reminder service available for MOT renewal as there is with the system of renewing a tax licence and MOT renewals are often missed by drivers.
In 2009 a survey was carried out by u.Switch.com in relation to how many of UK drivers do actually put their vehicles in for an MOT test and revealed that 4.7 million drivers actually miss their MOT renewal date. A large proportion of these drivers said they missed the renewal date because they simply forgot, which suggests an MOT reminder service is required for UK motorists. A text message reminder service is now available from Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) but there is a cost for using the service whereas the tax licence reminder service is free of charge.
Penalties of Driving without an MOT
Driving without an MOT can not only result in drivers being prosecuted but also put other road users at risk. If no valid MOT is held for a particular vehicle, how does the driver of that vehicle know that the vehicle is road worthy? The easiest way to combat risks of safety and to avoid not only financial penalties but also to protect ones driving licence, is to ensure that your vehicle does have a valid MOT.