Third of motorists drive vehicle without valid MOT

12th August 2013

A third of motorists in the UK are taking vehicles onto the roads knowing they do not have a valid MOT, with as many as ten million people getting behind the wheel of a car with no MOT.

The study published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which involved 1,000 motorists, found 67 per cent of respondents had driven for up to a week before their vehicle was retested.

More worryingly, 24 per cent admitted to driving without a valid MOT for up to a month, seven per cent for up to six months and two per cent for a longer period of time.

Mike Baunton, SMMT interim chief executive, said a significant proportion of motorists forget their MOT each year, risking fines, penalty points and putting their safety, and that of other road users, in jeopardy.

Taking a vehicle to trained technicians with the best diagnostic equipment is advised for motorists looking to get their car tested and signed off for use on the road.

Driving without a valid MOT is not only dangerous, it can come with a host of punishments, with fines of up to £1,000 for those found behind the wheel of a vehicle without an MOT. The practice can also invalidate an insurance policy, which itself is an offence carrying a penalty of six to eight points.

The research found that men are more likely to commit the offence of driving with a lapsed MOT, with 35 per cent of male respondents admitting to this, versus 31 per cent of female drivers.

While the gender differences were slight, regional variations are more pronounced, with the south-west topping the table of offenders, with 40.5 per cent of respondents forgetting to get their vehicle tested on time.

Drivers in the East Midlands were the most responsible, with just 15 per cent of motorists in the region admitting to getting behind the wheel of a car without an MOT.

Posted by Danielle Barge