Your Questions Answered

The questions and answers in this section of relate to previous versions of the MOT manual and should not be relied on, as the law may have changed. Please ensure you check the relevant section of the current MOT manual, which can be found on this site.

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Q with the new laws coming in in may I am confused. Motorists can face a hefty fine if they book their car in for an early MoT before their certificate runs out, or if they keep driving their car if it fails its test.

Does this mean that you cannot book in a month early but still keep your anniversary date and also if it fails can you still drive up to your mot anniversary date


You can get an MOT up to one month, minus a day, before the current certificate runs out and keep the same renewal date. So if your MOT was valid until 10 June, you be able to renew it from 11 May without it affecting your anniversary date.

Until 19 May 2018, if your vehicle fails its MOT you can drive it away if the existing MOT certificate is still valid - as long as it meets the minimum standard of roadworthiness. When the new MOT laws take effect from 20 May 2018, any faults found will be categorised as either dangerous, major or minor. If a vehicle has a dangerous fault, it will not meet the minimum standard of roadworthiness, so obviously you will not be able to drive it legally, even if it still has an unexpired MOT certificate. Major faults may make the vehicle less safe and could put other road users at risk, or could relate to emissions. Therefore, if your vehicle had a major fault you would need to take advice as to whether you could legally drive on your unexpired certificate, as it would depend on what the fault was.

Minor prang without MOT

Q I had a minor prang admittedly my own fault, after I realised my mot had expired 8 days earlier, my mot is now booked but if the other person claims against me will my insurance still cover me even though at the time I was driving with an expired mot

Name: Michelle

Not having a valid MOT certificate is illegal under Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and you run the risk of facing a 1,000 fine and a charge of six to eight penalty points on your licence by driving without one. Also your insurance will be invalidated and you will have to cover any costs. Plus if you are convicted then you insurance premiums will be higher next year.

Will the insurance cover the replacement

Q My MOT expired last week when I was away. When back noticed the heat affected the small crack on the windscreen and it got longer. I booked the first appointment to replace the windscreen and the day after to do the MOT. Will the insurance cover the replacement if I claimed even though the MOT had expired a few days before. Car is parked inside on drive and my insurance is valid until next month.

Name: sally   Town: whitehaven

You would have to check this with your insurance company

Driving on day of MOT

Q Can I drive my car on the day the MOT is due so long as I have it booked in the following day

Name: Lenny   Town: Bristol

Once the MOT has expired Midnight of the expiry date You can ONLY drive the car to an MOT Test station for a pre booked MOT test. If the previous MOT has not expired then you can drive the car as normal

Mot Tax Direct debit

Q My MOT has expired, I have a cracked windscreen which I cannot get done until March 21st as the glass has to be imported. I pay my tax monthly by direct debit. I have received a letter from the driver vehicle licencing agency informing me that because my test certificate has expired they will not renew my direct debit for next month, unless I get a new certificate before the end of Feb, my direct debit will be cancelled and I will need to tax me vehicle. How can I do this when I cant get an MOT until the windscreen is replace

Name: Bob   Town: Blackwood

Because you tax is conditional on having an MOT and it runs for 6 or 12 months the government will not take your monthly subscription you may be able to suspend your Direct debit and reinstate it a month later car tax now only starts at the beginning of the month a phone call to the DVSA Main DVLA Contact Number:

0870 174 7001 they may be able to help

Pending Appeal

Q If I appeal a failed MOT test, can I drive pending the appeal after the old MOT has expired

Name: Roberto   Town: Kingston

Not after the old MOT has expired. It is suggested the vehicle not to be used during an appeal as the problem could become worse

MOT Renewal

Q I need renewal my MOT after 2 month expired

Name: Jo   Town: Manchester

Just book it in and get it tested the Mot will run for 12 months from the test date if you drive your car other than to a pre booked test you will be breaking the law

Late MOT

Q My MOT runs out in 2 weeks, but I am going on holiday for 5 weeks and cant get it done until I have returned. I understand that I wont be able to drive it until I have the MOT done. However I was wondering if I can wait until I come back from my holiday, or does it need to be done as soon as it runs out.

Name: Tas   Town: Newcastle

You can have the car tested at anytime that is convenient but only drive it to an arrange test if the MOT has expired

Days of Grace



There are no days grace anymore. It has to be completed on or before the date on the MOT


Q My mot is due to expire but cant afford to pay for the new test until a week after the expiry date can I still drive my car

Name: Clyde

No. Once the MOT has expired you are only allowed to drive your vehicle on a public road to attend a pre-booked MOT appointment. You must be able to prove you are travelling to a pre-booked appointment if stopped by the police.


Q My MOT renewal is on 20/4. I do not return from Holiday until 23/4. Is there any overlap period for renewal

Name: Dave

No, I am afraid there is not a grace period for renewal. You can renew your MOT up to 1 month before the expiry date without it affecting your original renewal date. Once the MOT has expired you are only allowed to drive to a pre-booked MOT appointment and must be able to prove this is where you are going if stopped by the police.


Q My vehicle has today failed its MOT. I have decided not to have the repairs done at the testing station; due to the vehicle I would rather get quotes from more specialised garages. Is it legal for me to drive the vehicle to and from these local garages to get quotes for work They are unable to quote without seeing as some of the fails are due to chassis welding. Or will it need to be taken on a trailer Many thanks.

Name: Kieren

You should use a trailer to take the vehicle to garages for quotes. If your tax has expired you should also obtain a SORN for the vehicle.

Expired MOT while in hospital

Q Im in hospital I went in on 11th of December Im still in hospital my car requires an mot on 29th December Im still in hospital what can I do regarding my mot

Name: Michael Gilbey

As long as it is not being driven then you will be fine. Once the current MOT has expired then you will only be able to drive it to a pre booked MOT test.

MOT Without Documentation

Q My 45 year old daughter has a vehicle that is owned by her estranged husband.It was a new leased vehicle which he purchased when the lease expired.
The vehicle now requires its first mot.,however he refuses to get it done. He also refuses to supply her the relavent documents to allow her to do this herself.
She desperately needs this vehicle for her job and is using it now illegally.
How can she now obtain a certificate without involving him.
Please advise.

Alan Wilmer.
A very worried Father

Name: Alan Wilmer

I can tell you that you do not need any documentation to get an MOT. They use the VIN number and registration number. Just book an MOT and take the car. She should NOT drive the car until it has an MOT but She can drive it to a pre booked MOT test.

Expired MOT while abroad

Q Hello. Im in lanzarote. My car is taxed and insured but my mot has expired. What can i do. Thank you

Name: M smith

You must book it for an MOT on the day that the car is due back into the country and take it straight there.No deviation A car without an MOT can only be driven to a pre booked MOT test and/or to a garage for repairs necessary to pass the MOT test.

Expired MOT while abroad

Q I am in France and my MOT expired a couple of weeks ago. My insurance is in the UK. I got a control technique to make sure the car was roadworthy but is my insurance valid I can not drive it back to the UK for three more weeks.

Name: celi Harper

The MOT is only for driving in the UK - you would have to check with your insurance company about the insurances validity. A control Technique is not valid in the UK and you would not be able to drive it in the UK except to a pre booked MOT test. You could only drive a French registered vehicle for 6 months in the UK with a Control Technique but you vehicle is UK registered meaning it needs UK documentation etc.

Driving on a failed MOT certificate

Q My son took his car for mot but car failed due to shock absorbers problem. They couldnt fix it until next week should I drive or is it an offence.

Name: Barbara Naylor

You can only drive it if it still has a valid MOT certificate and that the tester has not deemed it to be dangerous. If the old MOT has expired then you can only drive it on the day of the pre-booked MOT test and only to the MOT testing station and back

Gov website states my MOT has expired

Q Bought a car only 6 months old. Adapted for wheelchair.
Registered 2016

Gov website states my MOT has expired Even lists the certificate number

Whats going on here

Any ideas

Name: Katie

You would need to contact the DVSA. You should not need an MOT until the vehicle is 3 years old.

Driving on expired MOT

Q My mot expired 5 days ago I didnt realise and have been driving it. I will ring round to try and get it in ASAP. But worried now if Ive been caught on a camera thingy. Should I get sorn asap or am I ok obviously not driving but getting an appointment date and can I drive it to garage Regards Joanne

Name: Joanne Gavan

A SORN obtained now would not have been valid if you where caught on a camera historically as the SORN would only start from the application date. Once you get an appointment for an MOT you may drive the vehicle to the test station on that day ONLY and only to the test station and return on failure.

Still insured to drive?

Q If your MOT is expired but MOT test booked, are you still insured to drive

Name: Helen Gervais   Town: Clogher

Only to drive to and from the MOT station for a pre-booked MOT with NO deviation. direct route only

Can I drive with an expired MOT for repairs

Q I live in London. Can I drive with an expired MOT to my usual mechanic in Wales for a prebooked appointment where he services the car and gets it ready for the MOT test so it has no chance of failing The mechanic then usually takes the car to the MOT test and returns the car to me once done it is very rural. So the car would be going to a prebooked MOT preparation service followed by MOT test.

Name: Emma   Town: London

No - You can only drive to a pre booked MOT test without a valid MOT certificate. You could always get the mechanic to pick it up and drive it on Trade Plates if he has them.

Grace Period

Q How long do you get when your mot as ran out to get a new one done

Name: Darren    Town: Blackpool

There is no grace period anymore. You can only drive a car with an expired MOT certificate to a pre booked MOT test

When new MOT runs from

Q My MOT has just expired. Im going to drive to a pre booked MOT test in a months time as i dont need the car now. Will the new MOT start from the new MOT date or from the old expiry date

Name: Dave   Town: Bedford

From the date of the MOT Test Pass Presuming that it passes

First MOT requirement

Q A dealership had our car MOT tested before it was 3 years old. This has now expired.

Is the original 3 years after registration first MOT date still relevant, or does the expiry of an unnecessary MOT mean we should have our car tested before it is 3 years old

To put it another way: Is the legal requirement to have an unmodified car MOT tested by the 3rd anniversary of first registration replaced by an earlier date under any circumstances except mechanical modification

Thanks in advance.

Name: Dan   Town: Fleet

An MOT is due exactly three calendar years after the vehicles first registration and not before. If somebody unnecessarily MOTd the vehicle in the meantime it does not affect this date.

Buying a vehicle with an Expired MOT

Q Im buying a car in Bedford whos MOT expired on 1st April, I have insured it and wish to drive it to Stroud where I live and have booked it for a retest. iIs this legal as Im driving to a pre booked appointment please

Tank you for your time

Best wishes


Name: Richard Heath   Town: Stroud

It is fine to drive the vehicle to the test centre for a pre-booked MOT test but only that

Driving on an expired certificate

Q my mot is due on 1st April but i cant book my car in for MOT until 12th April, will i still be able to drive between 1st and 12th April

Name: Bonnie So   Town: Henlow

You cannot drive the car on an expired MOT. Only on the day of the test and only to drive to the MOT station for a pre booked MOT test

MOT Test

Q if i drive my car back to the uk renew the mot which has expired to an appoint,int for a test will the insurance still be covering me

Name: martin   Town: harleston

Yes your insurance will cover you providing you are going to a prebooked MOT

MOT Expiry

Q We are away when the MOT is due, but due back one day after it has expired, is there any give and take on this

Name: Louise Morgan-Turner   Town: Drighlington

There is no time allowed on the renewal date but you can renew your MOT any time in the month before it is due and still have the same original renewal date the the following year

MOT lapsed

Q I have had my car off the road and and issued a SORN. Want to get the car back on the road, have insurance and tried to tax but DVLA says there is no MOT. The MOT has not expired. If you make a SORN does that automatically cancel your MOT and will I have to get a new one done

Name: Bev   Town: Wirral

The MOT only lasts for 12 months if it is more than 12 months since the vehicle has been tested then you have to have a test to put it back on the road even if you never used it since the day of the last test

MOT Repairs

Q Hi my car faild its MOT yesterday the MOT expired today, can i drive my car across town to my dads to be fixed.thanks

Name: Loz   Town: Nottingham

No you can only drive legally to a recognized garage for retest repairs

Failed Mot

Q My car failed its MOT and is parked on the road outside my house we have no private parking. It was too pricey to get repairs and I couldnt get a scrapper to come for a few days. Im not allowed to drive it postMOT, so how can I avoid breaking the law by leaving it parked on the roadside It seems a bit of a legal flaw what can you do if scrappers cant come for a few days and the MOT has expired

Name: Alex   Town: Cirencester

If there is a local pub or business with parking they may let you leave it there otherwise you leave yourself open to a 100 ticket if parking attendants pass by

MOT Renewal

Q My original mot expired on 30.11.16. I presented the car for mot on 8.11.16.the car failed on a number of items.garage did some of the work and I took away the car to fit new discs and pads. Took car back on 14.11.16 and it passed the retest. I thought this would last till 30.11.17 but the mot certificate states that mot runs out on 13. 11.17.Is this correct.

Name: Gordon Cunningham   Town: Edinburgh

You can get an MOT up to a month minus a day before it runs out and keep the same renewal date which is the can confirm this via link below

Click here for more information


Q I am planning to buy a British registered car abroad without valid MOT. It is still taxed though. Can I drive it through Europe back to UK Will confirmation from you that I am booked for MOT test will be enough in that case. MOT expired in July

Name: Marek   Town: Nottingham

The MOT is not recognised in Europe each country has its own test regime what you need to do is contact a garage of your choice to carry out the MOT Test and book it for when you arrive back


Q  MOT has expired but booked in to be done on 16th Nov as away on holiday till then. Tax expires on 31 Oct so I cannot renew tax until MOT done.

Car will be locked in garage until it is driven to MOT.

Do I need to SORN vehicle for this 2 week period

Name: Sarah   Town: Camberley

As long as you book you do not require a sorn


Q If my car is of the road and not used,my m.o.t has expired can i do my m.o.t.when I am back in uk.

Name: Mrs smith   Town: Croydon

Yes as long as the car is on private property you will not incur any penalties

Expired MOT

Q Can I drive if my mot has expired but is booked in for one

Name: Elva   Town: Cardiff

You can only drive to a pre booked mot test if you use your car for any other reason you can be fined


Q If MOT has run out can I park it on road outside of house Untill I take it

Name: Rebecca allert    Town: Barnsley

You cannot park your vehicle on the public highway once you MOT certificate has expired if you do you could be liable for a fine

Sorn renewal

Q My bike failed an MOT and Im planning on scrapping it entirely this takes and I need to SORN the vehicle as its on the road, although its still taxed and is insured Tried to SORN it online and I think Im too late, it expired a few weeks ago. No letters have been sent by DVLA yet, despite the MOT lapsing. Bit concerned but have a friend whose garage I can use.

Name: Andy   Town: Brighton

New rules that came out mean that you only have to register for a Sorn once and you do not need to renew it


Q Will my existing car insurance policy be valid again when my MOT has been renewed, despite the fact Ive allowed the MOT to expire it expired a week ago so Id imagine Im currently uninsured even for theft without driving The policy will run continuously until the MOT is renewed. I have it booked in for renewal this week.

Name: Jock   Town: Aberdeen

Your insurance is valid for twelve months from the date you were first insured and runs continuous from that date not having an mot does not cancel it during that period


Q Hello I havent used my motorbike for over a year, and everything has expired: MOT, insurance, road tax. Ive had it on SORN for a few months and Im now finally able to renew everything. What are the correct steps to ensure I dont break the law and dont have problems renewing Thank you.

Name: Florentina   Town: London

You only have to be insured which allows you to ride your bike to a pre booked test

MOT booked test

Q I am booked in for an mot on my mororcycle on the 13th July but unable to take it in on the day due to work commitments but am looking to ride up Saturday before. Both the mot and tax expired within a couple of days. Is it ok to ride up days before as long as direct to not station to leave for the test

Name: Martin   Town: Chippenham

As long as you are insured and are going to a pre booked test you are fine

mot fail accident

Q hi my mot expired on the 19th .couldnt book before this date so booked for next day the 20th. car fail and i drove it staight homejust 100yrds from home some1 reversed out a space straight into the side of my car. he has said its his fault. will insurance pay out on this /


Name: sue   Town: Margate

On the information you have given the person who caused the accident will be liable as for you not having an mot this should not affect the claim unless the reason for the mot failure contributed to the accident this does not appear to be the case

MOT Booking

Q My MoT expires on 23rd June. I have booked a test for 24th. Is this allowed

Name: Paul   Town: Canterbury

Yes you can book an MOT Test at any time suitable to you if your certificate has expired you are only legally covered to drive to a pre booked test

Expird MOT

Q Taxed my car but my mot expired can I still drive my car

Name: lee   Town: essex

You may only drive without a test certificate legally to a pre booked MOT test or to have it repaired for the test

Car Insurance

Q My MOT failed on two accounts: 1 the windscreen needs replacing, 2 the garage needs to repair a head light. I arranged for wind screen to be replaced at my house the company has rearranged it as heavy rain prevented them from doing the work. They cannot replace the windscreen now until after I have had the repair done at the garage. The problem is my insurance will have then expired and I dont think I can insure it without a valid MOT. This means I will have to drive it to the garage without a valid MOT and with out a valid insurance. What can i do if stopped and asked for a document check am I covered. On reflection this means I will have to drive it to the garage for the repair, them bring it home to have the windscreen repaired then to the garage again to have it retested and drive home before I can renew the insurance. Is that OK

Name: Janet   Town: BECKENHAM

I am sure your insurers will reinsure you on the condition you are using it to get an mot you are not allowed to drive a car on public roads without valid insurance and you can be liable to prosecution

No mot

Q I have just come to renew my car tax as it is about to run out and it wont let me as my mot has expired also do i have any grace on both to get done

Name: darren   Town: wigan

There is no period of grace for either MOT or Road Tax

No Mot

Q I have just realised my mot has expired,also due to my dvla direct debit not getting paid due to an error with my bank my tax has been cancelled leaving my vehicle un taxed and no mot until next week when Im back from holiday, do I have to declare the vehicle sorn even though I wont be using it only to drive to the garage for its mot, its parked up in the car park belonging to a local supermarket behind where I live many thanks in advance

Name: Dan   Town: Tywyn

As long as it is insured you can drive from the carpark to a booked MOT there is no requirement to sorn it unless you intend not to tax it

Online booking

Q My vehicle is taxed and insured, but the MOT has expired. I have tried to book an MOT online, but when I enter my registration number and the last 4 digits of my chassis number the vehicle is not recognised. Why is this I want to drive it to a repair centre in Belfast tomorrow, and they will take it for an MOT test on the same day.

Name: John Sutton   Town: Norwich

Northern Ireland have a different system to the mainland all the information is at there could be a number of reasons for your problem a phone call is you best option

Car on the road no MOT

Q No mot but taxed for 1year and on the road No mot or tax expired together on the road why

Am I treated different they tell me my car would not be on the


Name: Charlie   Town: Hayes

If you park your car on a public highway without a valid MOT, you can be prosecuted, the relevant legislation is section 47 of the 1988 RTA.If a vehicle is off the road and not in use, you do not have to keep it taxed and insured or have an MOT Certificate however, you must make a Statutory Off Road Notification SORN, or the vehicle will still be considered to be on the road

Continental Holiday



The MOT is a UK problem because you can be caught by the APNR cameras or police as soon as you come off the ferry if you are unfortunate. Therefore you need to have a pre-booked MOT appointment at a garage, and if you are stopped you need to appear to going towards that garage.

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