Drivers warned of huge £1,000 fine for early MOT test mistake - 'Caution should be taken!'

Drivers warned of huge £1,000 fine for early MOT test mistake - 'Caution should be taken!'

Transport Secretary Mark Harper pledges to help drivers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 21/01/2024

- 10:00

Millions of drivers could be hit with a fine if they allow their MOT to expire

Drivers are being warned about booking their MOT test early as they could be at risk of breaking the law and being hit with a fine.

New data has found that 47 per cent of UK drivers admitted to carrying out their MOT over a month before the expiry date of their MOT certificate.

Motorists must get an MOT for their vehicle by the third anniversary of its registration or the anniversary of its last MOT if it’s over three years old.

The earlier data that a driver can get an MOT is up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keeps the same renewal day.

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MOT test

If timed incorrectly, drivers could 'lose months' on their MOT test period


If a driver has their MOT run out on May 15, the earliest they can get another MOT to keep the same renewal date for the following year is April 16.

Drivers can be hit with a £1,000 fine for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT which could catch some motorists out.

They can ensure that their MOT is effectively valid for 13 months giving them extra piece of mind before needing to book their next test.

People may take their cars to the garage for an early MOT test to find out if any faults could prevent their vehicle from passing and needing repair.

They may incorrectly think that they can continue to drive their car on their old MOT test, even if faults are found on the new, early test.

The new test will supersede the old one, and if it does need repairs, the driver could be fined for being on the road without a valid MOT certificate.

David Kottuan, operations manager at Scrap Car Comparison urged motorists to “carefully consider” the date that they book their annual MOT check.

He said: “You can check your car’s MOT history online at the Government website to work out the earliest date for the test to be carried out.

“If timed right, you can almost have 13 months on your MOT certificate, but drivers should be aware of it being completed too early, because if the test is carried out more than a month before the expiration date of its current MOT certificate, it will only be valid for 12 months from the new test date, meaning you could ‘lose’ months from your existing MOT test period.

“Caution should be taken especially if your car fails this early test, as carrying it out early doesn’t mean you can still use your old certificate, and instead means you no longer have a valid MOT certificate, and the vehicle is no longer road safe in the eyes of the law.”

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) frequently updates motorists on social media about any changes to the MOT testing service.


MOT test

Motorists can sign up for an MOT reminder service through the DVSA


Road users are able to sign up for an MOT reminder service, with car, van and motorcycle owners getting a text or email one month before their MOT is due, while lorry bus and large trailer owners will get a two-month notice.

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