What are the dangers of driving without an MOT?

By Julia Freeman

It's common knowledge that an MOT test is a legal requirement for any road-using vehicle, but just what is an MOT and what risks do you run by driving without one?

Driving without an MOT

What is an MOT?

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport test - and is an inspection that checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

How often is it needed?

Once a vehicle is three years old (four in Northern Ireland), it must be tested each year.

What happens at an MOT?

An MOT involves a wide range of checks, ranging from the fuel system and brakes to lights, seatbelts, mirrors, windscreen wipers and exhaust system. The condition of your tyres (including tread depth) are also checked in an MOT, but spare tyres are not.

Where can I get an MOT?

MOTs can be carried out at an authorised test centre (of which there are over 20,000 in the UK) or at a local council test centre.

What is not checked?

An MOT inspection does not cover the condition of the engine, clutch, or the gearbox. This is because these elements are not deemed safety-critical.

How long does it take?

On average an MOT test takes between 45 and 60 minutes but bear in mind that this doesn’t include any repairs that may be needed in order for the vehicle to pass the MOT.

How much does it cost?

The maximum cost for an MOT is set at £54.85 for cars/motor caravans and £29.65 for motorbikes. Again, please do bear in mind that this price doesn’t include any repairs that may be needed in order to pass the test.

Why might my vehicle fail its MOT?

Some of the most common reasons that a car may fail its MOT inspection include non-working lights, incorrect tyre pressure, problems with the registration plate, empty screen wash, or damaged windscreen wipers.

What happens if it fails the MOT?

Your vehicle can fail its MOT if it has what is categorised as a ‘dangerous’ fault or a ‘major’ fault. If this is the case, then you will need the repairs to be carried out ASAP. Once these are complete, the garage will conduct a partial re-test before issuing a new MOT certificate (assuming all issues have been remedied).

What happens if it runs out?

If your MOT has expired, you should not have your vehicle on the road. The only exception is if you are driving to the MOT test centre.

What are the dangers of driving without an MOT?

Apart from being illegal and invalidating your insurance (which could result in a fine and prosecution), driving without an MOT can be dangerous as there may be a serious but non-visible issue that could contribute to an accident.
All Protyre garages offer MOTs, services, and several free safety checks. To find your nearest Protyre garage, you can use the ‘Find my Protyre’ search tool here on our website, that allows you to search by postcode or town. You can book an MOT or service online or over the phone and our qualified fitters and mechanics will always be happy to help with anything that you are unsure of.

Find My Protyre

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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