MOT Expired? Our Updated 2022 Guide to Forgotten MOTs, Expiration and Fees

Book your MOT in at a Vasstech branch near you

By law, a valid, up-to-date MOT certificate is absolutely fundamental to ensure your car meets road safety regulations and standards.

And although forgetting about your MOT may seem like a normal, easy thing to do, as simple as forgetting to buy some milk or where you’ve put your keys, the reality is forgetting your MOT could have severe penalties!

First things first – don’t panic. Our expert mechanics at all our various Vasstech branches are on hand to help you get your car safe and road legal. If you think you have an MOT overdue, continue reading and call into any of the below branches to get booked in and ready for the roads:

What is an MOT test for?

An MOT test certificate (which you’ll receive if your vehicle passes its MOT test) confirms that the vehicle has met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards at the time of your test. MOT tests are not only essential to keep you and those around you safe, but accidentally driving without MOT could also put you at risk of a hefty fine – but we’ll go into more about that later.

MOTs expire annually, with your test certificate lasting exactly one year from the time of testing. However, this does not guarantee that your vehicle will be roadworthy for the entire 12 months. After all, sometimes cars can be a little temperamental!

Although breakages and failures can occur whenever, wherever, no matter when you last took your car to the garage, having regular MOT tests can still make all the difference. Annual tests can dramatically reduce the risk of accidents and reduce the chance of general wear and tear issues becoming a serious problem.

What’s new for MOTs in 2022?

2018 saw the most dramatic changes to the MOT testing system, with stricter rules on diesel cars that had a diesel particulate filter (DPF), and the categories changed from a pass or fail to more segmented categories.

Previously, a vehicle would simply pass or fail its MOT test, but post 2018, the rules changed slightly. Defects on the car are now categorised by the following:

  • Dangerous
  • Major
  • Minor

But come 2022, what’s new? Well, with the cost-of-living crisis constantly lurking in the shadows, there are talks of reducing the frequency of MOT tests to help save drivers money by not having to fork out for their test every year.

The proposal is for MOT tests to be undertaken every two years rather than annually, but this idea has sparked controversy left, right and centre. Although this plan would save people money in the short term, the increase of unroadworthy cars on the road (a potential 2.9 million unsafe cars!) might not be worth the risk.

And not only could this increase danger, but it could even end up costing drivers more money in the long run. By putting off potential problems for another year while drivers wait for their MOT to come around, this could lead to disastrous issues with their vehicle, costing a fortune as a result.

When does my vehicle need a MOT?

Under current legislation, your vehicle will need a renewed MOT either on:

  • The third anniversary of its initial registration
  • Annually after its last MOT if the vehicle is over three years old

What to do if your MOT expires

Accidentally driving without MOT is an issue that needs your attention immediately. After your MOT expired, you must get booked into your local garage as soon as possible to avoid further complications and the fine for no MOT.

What do I need to bring to an MOT test?

Save yourself some time on the day of your MOT by getting your documents together the night before, including:

  • Your appointment letter, just on the off chance you get stopped. If your MOT expired but booked in for a test, it’s essential to provide proof that you’re actually on your way to the test centre.
  • Your log book (V5C) vehicle registration document, especially if this is your vehicle’s first ever MOT or the first MOT it has had since a registration plate change.
  • Although it’s not absolutely imperative, keeping your previous MOT test certificate handy is always a good idea.

And to make things that bit easier, you can now access all these documents online to save you the stress of getting everything in order on the day.

Is there a grace period if my MOT expires?

Surely there’s an MOT grace period, right? Wrong!

Your MOT is valid up until one year after your previous MOT date. And the current expired MOT rules mean that once your MOT has lapsed, you’ll be susceptible to any of the penalties and fines that apply afterwards, with absolutely no MOT period of grace.

The expired MOT rules mean that the only time you’ll legally be able to drive the vehicle without a valid certificate is when you’re physically on your way to get your MOT done. As mentioned above, if you are stopped during this time, you’ll have to prove that the test centre is 100% where you’re headed.

Fines for letting your MOT lapse

Many people fail to realise the severity of forgetting to book your MOT. The fine for no MOT is potentially a £100 on-the-spot fee, and a hefty £1000 fine could be levied too, even resulting in the vehicle being impounded.

As mentioned earlier, if your car is found to be in the ‘dangerous’ category, you could be facing:

    • Three penalty points on your driving licence
    • Huge fines of up to £2500
  • A complete ban from driving all together

Other problems with letting your MOT lapse

And it doesn’t even stop there. Sure, nobody likes a fine – but what other issues could arise from an MOT overdue?

Driving your vehicle on the road without a valid MOT, accidental or not, could invalidate your insurance if you were to unfortunately find yourself in an accident. And not only that, but you’re putting your health and safety at huge risk by accidentally driving without MOT.

Equally, any car that fails its MOT will be classified as ‘dangerous’ until all work is completed and the car is retested. Your car can even be classified as dangerous when it does have a valid MOT. Driving a car classed as ‘dangerous’ has a whole host of other penalties associated with it, which you can read up on here

The moral of the story…

Failing to renew your MOT could land you in hot water. So, make sure to check the status of your MOT here, or get booked in for your next MOT in at your local Vasstech branch.

All in all, if your MOT expired, it’s important to get it booked in immediately, and not drive it at any cost. It’s not worth the risk, money and hassle.

Written by
Vasstech Garage Manager
Craig McNicol
Co-founder & Director


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