Common MOT misconception could see drivers fined £1,000
Drivers often believe that there is a 14-day grace period where motorists are still able to drive a vehicle after its MOT has expired and before they get a new one. In fact, 31 percent of motorists believe this is the case, with the number rising to 45 percent for those aged between 18 and 24, according to Halfords.
However, experts are warning that this is a misconception and no such grace period exists.
It is illegal to drive a vehicle after an MOT has expired, unless they can prove they are driving it to a test centre.
An MOT lasts a year and the data that it runs out is printed on the current MOT pass certificate.
Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
The GOV.UK website states that drivers can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.
For example, if the MOT runs out on May 15, the earliest they can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is April 16.
Drivers can also get an MOT earlier, but the renewal date for the following year will change to one year (minus a day) from the date the vehicle last passed its MOT.
Antony Kildare, CEO of the UK’s leading road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, urged drivers to keep an eye on their MOT expiration date.
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He said: “Households up and down the country are being forced to cut back on everyday outgoings to balance the books.
“But with the latest figures showing 27,450 people were killed or seriously injured on UK roads, it’s extremely worrying to learn that such a large proportion of motorists are opting not to have their annual MOT.
“We urge motorists to take their vehicle for its annual MOT, but we also encourage regular vehicle checks to help prevent MOT fails.”
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a third of drivers admit to having driven a car without a valid MOT certificate.
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It was determined that some of these people believed there was a grace period.
Nearly 70 percent continued to drive for up to a week before taking their vehicle to an MOT testing garage.
Almost a quarter waited a month and seven percent drove without a valid MOT for more than six months.
Shockingly, only two percent of those surveyed allowed their certificate to lapse by more than a year.
Mr Kildare added: “These include ensuring engine oil is topped up, checking tyres daily, practising good driving habits and paying attention to warning lights and strange noises.
“It’s not worth drivers taking risks, for themselves or other road users.”
The only vehicles exempt from VAT rules include tractors, electric goods vehicles, cars that are three years or newer and classic vehicles and motorbikes made before 1960.
If a certificate is invalid and a motorist is involved in an accident, their insurance cover may be null and void leaving thme with a hefty repair bill.
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