posted 4 years ago

Why “forgetting” your car’s MOT is now more likely to land you in trouble with the law

Technological advances increase chances of being caught without an MOT test certificate

The millions of motorists who “forget” to MOT their car each year now face more likelihood of prosecution than ever before.

While the Government does not collate official statistics for the number of vehicles on the road without a valid MOT certificate, it says that it is likely to be similar to those estimated to be driving without valid insurance or tax.

Recent research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders found that a third of all motorists had driven a car without a valid MOT test certificate. At the end of 2012, there were 35 million vehicles on UK roads.

Advances in the use of more readily available digital MOT data and the tools used by police to detect motoring offences means that being caught driving illegally is now more likely than ever before, according to a Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman.

MOT certificates became “digital” in 2011, making it easier for records of vehicles not registered as SORN – or temporarily off the road – to be checked for a test that is up to date.

A DfT spokesman said the number of motorists driving without a valid MOT certificate or tax disc is declining annually.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency monitors the vehicles that are on the road without a valid tax disc. Similarly, systems like ANPR – or Automatic Number Plate Recognition – mean that police are able to detect vehicles that do not have all of their documents  in order.

The DfT spokesman added: “People should also be aware that the police will always perform a number of routine checks - including a check for an up to date  MOT certificate - whenever they stop a vehicle because of a suspected motoring offence.”

Substantial costs

Motorists who drive without a valid MOT certificate face a fine of up to £1,000 and penalty points on their driving licence. Having no MOT certificate can also invalidate a car’s insurance, leaving a driver facing substantial costs in the event of an accident.

A spokesman for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, which regulates MOTs, said: "The MOT test plays a vital role in making sure that all vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards.

“Any vehicle owner driving without a valid MOT can be identified by law enforcement agencies using Automatic Number Plate Recognition and risks prosecution.”

Drivers have a responsibility

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “All drivers have a responsibility to make sure both themselves and their vehicles are in a fit state to be on the road.

“Common vehicle defects such as worn tyres and brakes can kill, just as surely as the driver being drunk or tired. That’s why it’s vital to make sure your vehicle is in roadworthy condition with an annual MOT.

“Don’t be tempted to dodge the cost – it could cost lives. However, don’t assume your vehicle is safe just because it had a valid MOT – always do a walk-round check before you drive to check for tyre and wheel defects, tyre pressure, and oil and water levels.”

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Picture by Matty Ring


The comments saying add to the cost of fuel to cover road tax would be a good idea except that when the government almost did it a few years ago they were going to load that much on that everyone would have been paying loads more for road tax. They just went way over the top with their reckoning

Inspainalldocumentshaveto be carried incarmotasasticeronwindscreenwiththedateon

The suggestion to add to Fuel duty in lieu of road Tax has much merit. NO ONE can escape payment. Small & light cars will pay much less than big heavy gas guzzlers.

Deos the proliferation of comments referencing V.E.D. ("car Tax", "Road Tax") under an article which relates to annual vehicle roadworthiness certification (MOT) not indicate a widespread lack of understanding amongst the motoring public about what is what, what it's for, what their individual responsibilities are & why?! :-/

Fake discs abound. Personally, I think an enhancement of the ANPR system is to be welcomed. Tax discs can be stolen or 'amended', a car can be insured for a week to obtain a tax disc and so there is NO VALUE in having a disc in the screen showing the insurance. All we need now is far more ANPR cameras and authorities (not necessarily Police) to back up the findings. My Sainsbury's regularly has a Police ANPR camera which leads me to believe that fewer non-insured cars will be in the Sainsbury's car park.....perhaps! There is a regular Police patrol car parked on the M1 near Luton (Jct 10) and you see it start a pursuit virtually every time I see it.

If the fine for no MOT is £1000 let's not mess around fine them £1000,not the pittance of its £80 and 6 points,that's rubbish. However if no MOT then no insurance will probably exist,fine them a £1000 for this also,the courts are too soft on these motorists

In France the garage puts a sticker in your windscreen with year and month punched out. Each time you get in the car you can see when the MOT is due,every TWO years. TOO TOO difficult for UK PLC

Why not put 2p on a litre of fuel in lieu of road TAX. If you use the car you are taxed. the more you use it the more you pay. The bigger and heavier the car the more fuel you use, the more you pay. VERY FAIR

How can you not drive a car without an up to date mot, how else can one drive to a garage to get it checked???

why do police not sit outside traveler sites- there would rich pickings-- oh sorry travelers are above the law arn t they-- or there again is it that the police are just too frighten of them

You CAN get no points for no MOT - it will most likely mean you are not insured (invalidated for not fulfilling a key condition of your policy) and that is 6 points minimum...

MOTs although initially a good idea are just another way to milk the motorist. As to insurance. As far as I am aware a car need not be insured as third part liability covers driving somebody else car. In fact the cars insurance does not normally cover. Insurance should be nationlised as in Canada, to stop the rip off companies.

reported a car that is parked in my car park and used every day and road tax expired sept 13. 3 time to dvla and 2 to police scotland. guess what waste of time as the car is still on road with no tax.last time i report anything

This article is incorrect!!! NO PENALTY POINTS FOR NO MOT Check this government site 3. Penalty table Offence Maximum penalty Penalty points *Causing death by dangerous driving 14 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years) 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified) *Dangerous driving 2 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified) *Causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs 14 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years) 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified) Careless and inconsiderate driving £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 9 Driving while unfit through drink or drugs or with excess alcohol: or failing to provide a specimen for analysis 6 months’ imprisonment / £5,000 fine / Obligatory disqualification 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified) Failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident 6 months’ imprisonment / £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 5 to 10 Driving while disqualified 6 months’ imprisonment (12 months in Scotland) / £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 6 Driving after refusal or revocation of licence on medical grounds 6 months’ imprisonment / £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 6 Driving without insurance £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 6 to 8 Using a vehicle in a dangerous condition Obligatory if offence committed within 3 years of a previous conviction for the same offence - 6 months min. Otherwise discretionary 3 Failure to have proper control of vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead, or using a hand-held mobile phone when driving £1,000 fine (£2,500 for PCV or goods vehicle) / Discretionary disqualification 3 Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence £1,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 6 Speeding £1,000 fine (£2,500 for motorway offences) / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 6, or 3 (fixed penalty) Traffic light offences £1,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 No MOT certificate £1,000 fine - Seat belt offences £500 fine - Dangerous cycling £1,000 fine - Careless cycling £1,000 fine - Cycling on pavement £500 fine - Failing to identify driver of vehicle £1,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 6

Why, oh why, instead of taking away the printed tax disk won't the DVLA print a NEW kind of multi-disk showing MOT, tax and insurance etc??? Or even 3 discs. This way all traffic that walk can ALSO check. I can't imagine solo warden checking places like Regent Street for culprits by mobile phone to the DVLA!!!

Nice to know that the progress to an evil Orwellian society is still on target. Now our movement of vehicles (and hence us) is being fully tracked. But worse there is no public outcry about this! Perhaps the Scots might well be advised to vote Yes!

I'd like to know why a person without a valid MOT when stopped is also not fined for no or invalid insurance whether they have it in place or not! The above statement says that the offenders insurance is not valid if there is no present valid MOT in place so why are they not charged accordingly?

Fine, but nothing's changed. A vehicle on SORN doesn't need an MOT, and if an owner risks driving it, the chance of being caught is the same as before anyway.

its ok having this knowledge the fact is there are people still using untaxed and uninsured cars even though all the info is on computer so what difference will it make even if you report them nothing gets done just a waste of time these days you need officers to enforce it all and when the brainless government keep making cutbacks its impossible to police