MOT failure – what it means for you

An MOT certificate is required for all vehicles aged three years and older, and it needs to be renewed every year. 
To check when your MOT is set to expire, refer to the GOV.UK website. You’ll need the registration number to hand. 

Driving without MOT can incur a £1,000 fine, so it’s useful to sign up for reminders to make sure you don’t let your existing certificate expire.  

What to do if my vehicle fails MOT?

You are still able to drive the car, but only in three instances:

  1. Your MOT from the previous year has yet to expire.
  2. You are driving to a pre-appointed MOT test.
  3. You are driving to a garage to get the outstanding problems fixed.


Note that if stopped by the police, you will need to provide proof of the appointment outlined in points 2 and 3. 

Retesting your car will be free of charge, provided you’ve had all the work carried out by the same garage, and it’s within 10 days of your original test. 

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. 
  • 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.


Discover the ins and outs of the MOT process