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Mind that MOT…

Would you drive a car without insurance?

“Of course not,” you may be indignantly saying to yourself.

Well, think again… you may be doing just that, without realising it. According to a survey cited by the Daily Mirror, 4.7 million motorists – almost 20% of Britain’s drivers – don’t renew their vehicle’s MOT on time, which automatically means that their car insurance is invalid:

Daily Mirror: Shocking costs of MoT memory loss

The cost of an MOT certificate is currently (April 2009) £54 – plus whatever repair costs are needed to bring your vehicle up to roadworthy standard.

Against that:

  • according to the AA, the average cost of an insurance claim is £2,450 – costs which fall to you if uninsured
  • the penalty for driving without a valid MOT certificate is a fine of up to £1,000
  • premiums for car insurance are significantly higher if you’re convicted of driving without an MOT – about 43%
  • driving without insurance carries a fine of up to £5,000 and 6-8 penalty points – although the courts can order immediate disqualification

And of course you can’t get a new tax disc unless you’ve got a valid MOT. So if you carry on driving without tax and MOT, you stand to be fined even more (an automatic penalty of £80, plus a fine of up to £1,000) and your car may be impounded – and if you don’t then pay the storage fees, your car could be crushed or sold!

Yet in spite of all that, as many as 3 million drivers carry on driving even though they know their MOT is out of date.

So don’t forget – get your MOT on time and make sure your car insurance remains valid!

2 Responses to “Mind that MOT…”

  1. Mr J Smith

    Can you please clarify where you got the information that

    “if you don’t renew a vehicle’s MOT on time, this will automatically means that the car insurance is invalid”

    Most insurance companies state the car should be kept in a roadworthy. The sentence above refers to being road legal. Two different definitions

  2. British Newspapers Online

    You’re right inasmuch as there’s a difference between roadworthiness in fact and compliance with the requirements of the law – and, of course, an MOT pass only certifies that your vehicle was roadworthy at the time of testing.

    However, apart from the Daily Mirror reference quoted above, there are several references online which strongly suggest that many insurance companies do explicitly require you to have a valid MOT certificate. is just one of them; there are plenty of others.

    In any event, it’s simply not worth the risk. How many cars are still fully roadworthy one year after their previous MOT? And how many insurance companies are willing to pay a claim if they can find any reason at all to refuse to indemnify?

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