How long is an MOT certificate valid for?


The MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a test to confirm that a vehicle is safe to drive on UK roads. Once a car is three years old, it must pass the MOT, which includes checks on brakes, windscreen wipers, lights, exhausts and more.

You must have a driving licence, proof of your current insurance cover and a valid MOT certificate to drive any vehicle in the UK. If your car isn’t roadworthy, you can’t drive it anywhere at all and can be fined up to £1000. You will only be able to drive your car to get it repaired or if you’re driving it to a pre-arranged MOT test.

How Long Is An MOT Certificate valid for?

MOTs are valid for a year (12 months) after they expire, so they should be renewed before the date on which their validity expires. People often mistakenly believe that they’re entitled to a 14-day grace period following the date of their renewal, but they are not.

MOT certificates are valid for three years from the date of issue if you have purchased a new car in the last three years. You won’t need to take your car for an MOT until three years after the registration period ends. You won’t need to check the car regularly, but it will need regular checks after this time.

You can book your MOT up to a month (Take away a day) before your scheduled test (on the anniversary of your last test).

Is an MOT valid on its expiry date?

You may be asking if you can drive your car on the day that its MOT expires and the answer is yes. Your MOT is valid until midnight of your expiry date. Any time after that, you will only be able to drive your vehicle without an MOT if you have proof that you’re taking it to an approved test centre.

UK government legislation requires that all new vehicles need to be MOT tested to check that they meet safety and environmental standards before being registered and placed on the road. This is done to ensure that vehicles comply with safety requirements and that they do not emit excessive levels of pollution.

Electrical powered Goods vehicles (registered before 1st March 2015), specific classic vehicles and tractors are exempt from MOT testing. Vehicles such as buses, lorries and trailers do not need MOT tests as they are checked annually via separate checks.

What happens if you get caught without an MOT?

If you’re caught driving a car that hasn’t had its MOT certificate checked in a year, you could be fined up to £1,000 and have your vehicle taken away for safety reasons. Also, if you end up in an accident or you damage your car any time after the MOT expires, your insurance would not be valid and they would not pay out to cover any costs of your repair.

What happens if your car fails its MOT?

If your car fails its MOT, the reason why your car has failed its MOT is written down on the ‘VT30 Refusal of an MOT Test certificate’. You should retain this document because you will need to show it if you want to get your car re-tested at the test centre.

It is illegal to drive your car if it had failed its MOT and the certificate date has passed. It doesn’t matter if it seems to work fine or drives smoothly as you still can’t drive it. You could be fined up to £1000 if caught driving without a valid MOT.

If your car fails an MOT but the car is still within the certificate date, it may be safe to drive to a garage but there are exceptions to this rule. If you’ve got a fault or warning light, you may be able to drive to the garage. However, if you drive your vehicle that has dangerous defects, you can be banned from driving, fined up to £2500 and receive points on your licence. You will also invalidate your insurance if your drive your car hasn’t passed its MOT and these can lead to penalty points and fines.

So you only have two options. You either pay for what needs to be fixed/changed or scrap your car and purchase a new one.