The ‘MOT Grace Period’ Explained

Wednesday 20th November 2019

what is an mot

There are misconceptions around an expired or failed MOT ‘grace period’ - but what is an expired MOT grace period? If you’re under the impression there is a two-week period of time where you can still drive your vehicle with an expired MOT, read on now to find out how this misunderstanding could lead you to a hefty fine and cost you up to eight points on your licence.

The MOT grace period is a misconception that there is a two-week period of time for lapsed MOTs. This is not true – and, if your MOT has expired, it is illegal to be driving your vehicle on the road. However, there was an MOT grace period during the coronavirus pandemic. This only covered vehicles that where the MOT was due to expire between 30th March and 31st July 2020.

If found driving your vehicle with a failed or expired MOT, you run the risk of receiving a £1,000 fine and up to eight points on your licence. Want to know more about the legalities around driving without an MOT? Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 explains in more detail.

Should I book my MOT early?

Often, it can be easier to book your MOT early. After the pandemic, there was a huge backlog of mechanic appointments, due to the services not being available  during the first lockdown. By booking your MOT early, you can skip the hassle and any last-minute rush.

MOT renewals explained

You need an MOT for your vehicle by the third anniversary of its registration and when the vehicle is of this age, your MOT test will need to be conducted annually thereafter. This means the vehicle must then pass its MOT every year to show that it’s deemed as roadworthy and safe to drive. The only MOT exempt vehicles are historic vehicles that were built or first registered more than 40 years ago.

You can MOT your vehicle early up to one month prior to the MOT certificate expiration date – in which case, you could essentially have a 13-month MOT certificate that is valid.

The only exception for driving your vehicle with an expired or failed MOT is when you’re driving to a prearranged MOT re-test, or to a garage to have repairs undertaken on your vehicle in order for it to pass its test.

Will I get a fine if I am bringing my car to its MOT?

If you are on your way to an MOT with a pre-arranged appointment booked, you do not risk getting a fine. However, you must be able to provide evidence of your MOT booking if you are pulled over.

How can I keep my vehicle roadworthy, if I am not due for my MOT?

If your car isn’t due its MOT for a while, there are still plenty of things you can do to make sure it’s still in tip-top condition. It is a good idea to regularly service your car to ensure small problems don’t turn into big issues. Even minor problems – for instance, your headlight bulb going out - could affect your car's roadworthiness.

Read our helpful blog, to find out key things about key maintenance. We discuss a range of topics including charging car batteries, tyre care, wheel alignment and so much more.

Now you know about the expired MOT grace period myth, it may be time to book in for your MOT test. Locate your local Formula One Autocentre today and a member of our expert team will be on hand to help with your next MOT.

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