Can I tax my car without an MOT?

Monday 20th December 2021

vehicle tax reminder letter

In short, no – you will need a valid MOT to renew your vehicle tax. Driving without a valid MOT certificate is against the law and could also invalidate your insurance policy. 

Why do I need an MOT certificate to tax my car?

Vehicle tax is sometimes referred to as ‘road tax’ – contrary to popular belief, this tax is not used for road maintenance. Instead, this tax is known as an ‘excise duty’ which essentially means it is a tax on services that damage the environment or consumer health. This is why many electric cars have tax discounts as they have fewer carbon emissions. The roads are paid for by the local council and the Department of Transport. You need an MOT certificate, as the test also takes into consideration the environmental impact your car has on the atmosphere, this is then factored into the amount of road tax you pay.

You are required to book an MOT for your car every year at a certified garage to make sure your car fits the legal driving standards. If your vehicle doesn’t match the legal requirements, then you must get them repaired before you get back on the roads. Luckily, if your car fails its MOT then you can reclaim your unused road tax – you will usually still have to pay tax in the months when your car had a valid MOT certificate, but nothing after that. 

Will I get an MOT extension because of the pandemic?

Although the government allowed a six-month extension at the very beginning of the pandemic, all these extensions ran out on the 1st of August 2020 – and there have not been any more extensions since. It is advised that you get your car booked in for its MOT as early as possible, as there has been a backlog of customers waiting for garage services due to the pandemic.

Do I need a valid MOT certificate to renew my insurance?

This is often dependent on your insurance policy - the vast majority of insurance policies will lose their validation if you drive without an MOT, which means you are breaking the law twice. Many insurance policies also won’t allow you to claim if the MOT is expired. However, if not having an MOT at the time of your claim does not bare any effect on your policy, then it will be up to the insurer to conduct their own investigation and decide whether they wish to accept your claim.

If your car is in need of an MOT, check out our services – we offer MOTs starting from only £29.50. We also provide a host of other car services. For more information, simply contact our helpful team

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