MOT warning: Millions are ‘putting themselves at risk’ by driving without a certificate

DVSA explains 2018 MOT test changes

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New research from Direct Line suggests as many as 3.8million road users travelled without a valid certificate over the last year as many secured a six month extension. The survey found nearly two-thirds were aware their MOT had expired but still drove their vehicle anyway.

Meanwhile, 33 percent claimed theft only realised their car needed an MOT test after their certificate had expired.

More shocking, nearly half of drivers whose MOT certificate had expired admit to driving between 100 and 200 miles despite their vehicle not being road legal.

A total of 17 percent also used their vehicle for at least a week before realising their certificate had expired.

Jonny McHugh, spokesperson for Direct Line said drivers were “putting themselves at risk” by skipping their exam.

In particular, he warned van drivers were most at risk with data showing one in five are more than 13 years old and are more likely to break down.

He said: “An annual MOT, aside from being a legal requirement, helps to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy.

“And our research shows that many people may be putting themselves at risk by either knowingly or unknowingly skipping it.

“With the average age of vans creeping upwards, it’s really important that drivers of these vehicles fulfil the legal requirement to protect themselves and other road users.”

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According to Direct Line, the reason MOT tests were not carried out was down to a variety of reasons from confusion to financial concerns.

A total of 29 percent said they were concerned about their repair costs as a result of the MOT so didn’t get their repair work done.

Meanwhile, 24 percent said they were unsure about the terms of the Government’s MOT extension.

Mr McHugh added: “It’s really important that drivers are aware of the serious consequences of driving without an MOT and that they set themselves a reminder when their MOT is up for renewal.”

The new data comes weeks after KwikFit revealed the number of drivers which missed their MOT expiry date by three weeks or more tripled over the past six months.

The data showed a total of nine percent of road users who booked their tests in the last half of the year did so three or more weeks after their MOT expired.

Roger Griggs, communications director at KwikFit said they had noticed a “big increase” in drivers not getting their car tested.

He said: “Unfortunately, we are also seeing a big increase in owners not getting their car tested until three or more weeks after it has become illegal to drive.

“This is especially dangerous at the moment as people will not have been driving their cars as much over the last year.

“As a result, any safety issues may not be as apparent to them as they would be with more frequent use of their car.”

Research for KwikFit found many respondents backed tougher measures for those who drive without a test certificate. 

A total of 26 percent think authorities should have the power to impound a car while 14 percent said drivers should be banned for six months. 

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