Revealed: Third of UK motorists ‘risking lives’ by driving without MOT

Monday, August 12, 2013 - 13:00
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TEST: Third of motorists risking lives

Ten million vehicle owners have risked lives by driving without an MOT, shocking new findings show.

The appalling figure – a third of all motorists – is worsened by 67% of such offenders driving for up to a week without a valid MOT, with 24% for up to a month and 7% for as long as six months.

Compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the statistics also found men are more likely to offend than women.

More than a third (35%) of males have driven without an MOT, while 31% of female drivers have committed the offence.

Furthermore, the South West is the most common region for driving without an MOT (41%), with those in the East Midlands least likely to forget (15%).

Younger drivers are the biggest offenders age-wise, with 39% of motorists aged 18-24 admitting they have driven after MOT expiry.

Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said: “The statistics show that a number of motorists are driving vehicles without a valid MOT, which could result in genuine safety risks to them and other road users.

“For the motorist, a visit to their local franchised dealer will ensure the highest standard of customer care, in-depth training and knowledge of the vehicle and that their car meets all safety and legal requirements.”

The fine for driving without an MOT is up to £1,000, while offenders can also invalidate their motor insurance – which itself carries six to eight penalty points.

Cars older than three years also require a valid MOT before they can be taxed – with further fines for motorists who drive an untaxed car.

The SMMT, in conjunction with Motor Codes, are launching a free MOT service reminder for motorists.

Available at, the service will send motorists a reminder every year before their car’s annual test of roadworthiness is due.

Mike Baunton, Interim Chief Executive of the SMMT, said: “Each year, a significant proportion of motorists forget their car’s MOT, risking safety, fines and penalty points.

“Manufacturer main dealers are the best place to go to be sure of the most highly-trained technicians, using the parts manufacturers recommend along with the best diagnostic equipment.

“With more than 5,500 dealers across the UK carrying out free pre-MOT checks, along with an MOT reminder service run by Motor Codes, we are helping drivers to avoid basic MOT test fails by spotting simple-to-fix problems before the MOT lapses.”

Image courtesy of mrrobertwade (wadey), with thanks.

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