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Is it legal to drive without an MOT certificate?

Is it legal to drive a car without an MOT certificate? Rory Reid explains. 

It’s a question as old as the MOT test itself; is it legal to drive a car that doesn’t have an MOT certificate, even if you’re on your way to get your car tested? The rules are actually pretty simple once the knowledge is seared into your head, so read on to glean some info that could save you time, money and a significant amount of hassle.

So, is it legal to drive without an MOT certificate?

No. If your car’s MOT has expired, you’re not allowed to drive that vehicle. The only caveat being the fact you’re allowed to drive your un-MOT’d car to a test station. But only if you have a prior appointment.

If I get stopped by cops can I tell them I’m on my way to a test?

You can tell them anything you want. But if you use that excuse you’ll need to be able to prove that you actually have an appointment to get your car tested, and that you’re actually driving the car with the specific intention to get a new certificate. It’s best to book in advance before you set off.

What if I get busted for not having an MOT certificate?

It’s life in prison, sorry. Just kidding. But you could be fined £1,000, and nobody needs that sort of hassle. Luckily you can’t get points on your license for the offence, nor can you be disqualified from driving.

Can I drive my car home after it fails the MOT?

Yes, but only in cases where you already have a valid MOT – i.e. if you’re getting your car tested early while the ‘previous’ MOT is still valid. If an un-MOT’d car fails its MOT test, you’re legally not permitted to drive that anywhere other than to another -pre-booked MOT testing centre for a new appointment or a booked appointment at a garage to get repairs done.

Will time left on my old MOT get added to my new certifiate?

Totally. You can get a new MOT at any point before your current one runs out. So if you think there’s a chance your car will fail, why not book an MOT appointment a month or two before it actually expires, thus giving you a bit of leeway to shop around for necessary repairs.



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