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HomeTowing Questions & AnswersCan You Drive A Car Without MOT To A Garage?

Can You Drive A Car Without MOT To A Garage?

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You have been so busy these days with work, home, or school, and now you just realize that your MOT certificate is expired and you definitely need a renewal. The problem now is, your garage is quite a distance from home and you might get pulled over while driving. So can you drive to the garage without an MOT? 

Yes, you are allowed to drive your car without an MOT certificate but to the testing center only, and as long as your current MOT certificate does not show a dangerous defect in your car. 

You should note that apart from the MOT test center, it is illegal to drive anywhere else without an MOT

So, you are legally only allowed to drive your car when the MOT certificate has expired if you’ve booked for a test which you are on your way to take.

My Car Failed The MOT Test, What next? 

If by chance, your car fails an MOT test, you are only allowed to drive the vehicle If the previous year’s MOT is still valid. However, under no circumstance are you allowed to drive a vehicle that has been deemed road unworthy. 

So if your current MOT certificate has expired, you can not drive after a failed MOT test. If the current certificate is still valid, as long as no dangerous problems were found with the vehicle, you are allowed to keep using the vehicle. 

Also, if your car fails an MOT test with the results showing that it has major problems, you can not legally drive it without an MOT test certificate. 

Instead of your MOT certificate , you will be given a ‘refusal of MOT test certificate. This will be recorded in the MOT database. 

What Happens When I Get Pulled Over On My Way To An MOT Test? 

If you get pulled over, you have to prove to the police that you are on your way to the MOT test center by e.g showing them the booked appointment. 

If it happens that you take a detour to an urgent appointment and you get pulled over, you have to prove that the detour was very urgent or absolutely necessary in order to avoid being prosecuted. 

Penalty For Driving Without An MOT

If you are caught driving without a valid MOT certificate, the penalty could be as low as a police caution but you can also be fined for as much as £2,500. 

Sometimes, these fines would also include disqualification of your driving license but these are in severe cases. When you compare this with the mere £35 which taking the test might cost you. It seems more wise to take the test.

However under the new legislation the fine will increase if you are driving an unroadworthy car, even if your MOT is valid. 

Despite the Financial cost of driving without an MOT, the moral code which would be broken if your unsafe vehicle causes an accident is nothing compared to it. An MOT certificate, proved and guarantees that your car is road worthy and safe to be driven. 

This is not only for your benefit and comfort but for the benefit of others sharing the road with you. 

How Much Does An MOT Test Cost? 

The amount you will be charged for an MOT test differs based on the type of car to be tested. There is a limit to the amount you can be charged for each test. 

The fees are listed in full on GOV.UK . 

The maximum MOT fee for any car that has up to 8 passenger seats is £54.85.

While for a motorcycle, it is £29.65. 

Driving A New Car Without An MOT

If your car is new, the law is that new cars don’t need an MOT until their 3rd year registration. This means that you don’t have to get an MOT certificate for your new car until after using it for 3 years. 

However, for second hand cars, it is advisable that you check it’s MOT to apply for a test. This should be done before payment for security reasons so it is advisable to be done at the location of sale 

Thus, the first time your car needs to undergo testing is after 3 years. You are under no legal obligation to take it for a test before then.

What Documents Should I Have For An MOT Test? 

When going for an MOT test, you should have the following:

  • Your appointment letter
  • Your vehicle registration log book
  • Your current tax disk
  • Your Vehicle’s insurance certificate
  •  A previous MOT certificate, if any. 
  •  Your driving license
  • A proof of address
  •  Vehicle’s service history, if any. 
  • Current MOT Certificate or Notice of Refusal
  • Extra cash, in case the MOT test takes longer than expected OR you are not allowed to drive back home 

How Long Does An MOT Test Take? 

An MOT test takes 45-60 minutes (average time). This time can change if the test takes longer, for instance, where your car fails the test. 

This approximation is not always accurate as it can change depending on the circumstances that arise during the test. 

Sometimes, test centers or garages may require you to drop off your car in the morning and come back for it later. In this situation, you should prepare for a day without your vehicle. 

What Does An MOT Test Include?

It is important what the test may include before you take your car for it so you will be prepared. 

The checks may include your Vin (Vehicle Identification Number), making sure it is present and legible. 

Also, your registration plate may be checked to ensure that the number is legible, valid and is in the correct format. 

The following may also be checked during an MOT test:

  • Doors 
  • Fuel system 
  • Wipers and Washer Bottle
  • Seats
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Horn
  • Seatbelts
  • Steering and suspension 
  • Emissions
  • Windscreen 
  • Brakes
  • Lights 
  • Body work
  • Mirrors

You can check these items yourself before driving to the test center in order to avoid having to pay for repairs or taking another test.  

How Do I Prove An MOT? 

After successfully completing your MOT test, you will receive an MOT test Pass certificate which will be recorded. 

The design of the certificate was updated in May 2018 to include any faults or defects that were found during the test in a way that is easier to understand.

How To Recover A Lost Or Damages MOT Certificate 

Having a current and valid MOTcertificate is very important. This is why replacing it when you lose or damage it is an urgent matter. 

An MOT test certificate can be obtained from any MOT test center so you don’t have to worry about going back to the place where the test was originally performed. 

In order to get a recovery, you will be required to supply them with; 

  •  vehicle registration details
  •  the V5C log book reference number
  • A £10 fee or half the full amount of the original MOT test, whichever is smaller 

After this, you will be issued a replacement document. 

The MOT status of your car can be checked online but you can not order a replacement certificate online

How Do I Report A Car Without An MOT? 

You can contact the local police to report a car being used on the road without an MOT, to do this, you will need certain information about the vehicle. These include the Vehicle’s :

  • number plate
  • make and model
  • colour
  • location

After you have called, the police will make investigations as to your information and could, if found true, may charge the driver with a fine or some other penalty. 

Things To Do Before An MOT Test 

Before going for your MOT test, there are some things you can do to give your vehicle a better chance at passing the test. These are called Pre-MOT checks. Some include:

  1. Clean your car, inside and out. Take it to the car wash if possible. An examiner might refuse to carry out a MOT on an excessively dirty car. 
  2. Your number plates need to be cleaned, so they can be readable for the examiner. This is the criteria. 
  3. Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good condition. 
  4. Ensure your lights are working and working well. Asking a friend to confirm the function of the lights from another angle works. 
  5. Check your tyre tread and tyre pressure. 
  6. Top your brake oil, fluid and screenwash
  7. Check if your horn works well, a quick honk! Will do. 
  8. Ensure that all of your mirrors are intact, secure and safe. 
  9. Ensure that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in your car’s log book matches the one on your car’s bodywork.

CONCLUSION – Can You Drive A Car Without MOT To A Garage?

Now that you’ve known all these; I’m sure you have the answer(s) to your question and some extra information. Also, be sure to take your MOT test on time, advisably, a year before the expiration of your current certificate. 

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