MOT fines explained

Tuesday 11th February 2020

mot fines explained

It’s a legal requirement for vehicles older than 3 years from the date of first registration to have an annual MOT test. If your car does not have a valid MOT certificate or is classed as ‘dangerous’ and you are found driving it, you are breaking the law – and are at risk of a large fine plus points on your license.

But what is the fine for driving without an MOT? And what is classed as driving a ‘dangerous car’? Our detailed guide on MOT fines explains all.

MOT law

Under the latest MOT laws that came into place in May 2018, defects are labelled as:

  • Dangerous – this results in an MOT fail.
  • Major – this results in an MOT fail.
  • Minor – this means your vehicle will pass its MOT test, but an advisory note will be provided with repair recommendations to make your vehicle safe.

Any MOT failures are automatically logged on the national database. Therefore, if you are driving without a valid MOT certificate, or a failed MOT, it can easily be detected – and is against the law. However, there are some MOT exemptions for certain vehicles.

What is the fine for driving without an MOT?

The penalty for driving without an MOT is currently a £1,000 fine. However, under the latest MOT laws, you may receive a much larger fine than this if you are found driving an unroadworthy ‘dangerous’ car – even if your MOT is still valid.

When your vehicle is MOT tested, it will likely receive MOT advisory notes and be classified by defects, which determine its pass or fail status. The defects identified on your MOT test can vary from dangerous and major to minor elements that need attending to on your vehicle. Any vehicle that is found to have major or dangerous faults will automatically fail the MOT test.

Driving a dangerous car carries a £2,500 penalty fine, and 3 points on your license. Also, if you are fined for this twice in three years, you may receive a six-month driving ban. Your vehicle will be classed as dangerous if there is an immediate risk to the safety of drivers, passengers and general on road safety, or if it has a serious detrimental affect on the environment.

Avoid MOT fines

Nobody wants to be fined for driving without an MOT. Make sure you’re clued up on when your MOT is due at Gov.UK to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, and you have a valid MOT certificate. Ready to book in for your next MOT test? Locate your nearest Formula One Autocentre branch now.

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  • Always friendly staff, give rough quotes without looking at the car unlike other garage centres. MOT was done within an hour and was contacted quickly which is excellent.

    - Richard, Sheffield - Feb 2, 2020
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    - keith, Chichester - Jan 27, 2020
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    - Daniel, Gloucester - Jan 31, 2020
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