Driving without MOT – what it means for you 

An MOT test is required to be taken on all vehicles aged 3 years or older; the MOT should then be renewed annually. 
For vehicles that carry 9 people or more, you need an MOT certificate after the first year of a car’s life, and will need to get the certification renewed every year after that.

Can I drive without MOT? 

  • All cars that are aged between 3 and 40 require an annual MOT; driving without a valid MOT is breaking the law. 
  • The only instance in which you’re allowed to drive with an expired an MOT certificate is if you’re headed to a testing centre to get it renewed/granted.
  • If you’re stopped by the police and you’re not allowed to prove you’re headed to a testing facility, you face a fine of up to £1,000. Additionally, your vehicle could be seized and impounded.
  • If you’re not sure whether your car has a valid MOT, or you want to discover when it’s set to expire, you can check your status on the Gov.uk site. Keep your registration number to hand. 

Note: If your car is over 40 years old, you don’t need to take the annual MOT test, but you are obliged to ensure the car is in safe working order. Tractors and electric-powered goods vehicles are also exempt from the MOT process. 

What if my car fails the MOT test? 

Refer to our companion article, which looks at MOT failure, to find out your options.