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Can I drive my vehicle if I fail my MOT? | Autonet Insurance

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An MOT test is something that all motorists have to put their vehicle through each year once the car is 3 years old. It thoroughly tests the road safety and environmental standards of the vehicle. However, a lot of people are left asking if a vehicle fails it's MOT, can they still drive it?

Can you drive your vehicle if it has failed its MOT test?

If your vehicle has failed its MOT when the certificate has expired:

The law states each vehicle over three years old needs to have a valid MOT certificate. If not, your insurance could be invalid. If you have failed your MOT test on the same day as the MOT is due to expire then there are only two instances that you can drive your vehicle:

➢You may take your vehicle to a test station for an MOT test booked in advance
➢You may take your vehicle to get it repaired after it has failed its MOT test.

In any other circumstances, driving the vehicle would be breaking the law.

If your vehicle has failed its MOT when the certificate is still live:

You may take your vehicle for its MOT test up to a month before your current certificate ends; the exact date will be on your MOT certificate. This had led to people questioning whether they can drive it after it has failed as they still have a valid certificate.

The answer is that you can still drive your vehicle if it fails the test and its existing MOT certificate is still valid (i.e. if your test was before the expiry date) as long as no 'dangerous' problem(s) were listed in the MOT.
If you drive with 'dangerous' problem(s) listed in your MOT you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points.

However the fact that your vehicle has failed its MOT means there are faults with the vehicle, even if they haven't been classed as 'dangerous' and if you do get stopped by the police you could be prosecuted if your vehicle is not roadworthy.

Though you still have a valid certificate you could be breaking the law by using a vehicle with a known fault on the road, it is highly recommended to get the repairs fixed as soon as possible and not to drive the vehicle in the meantime.

What is included in the MOT test?

The following components of your vehicle are inspected during an MOT test: 

  • Seatbelts/SRS
  • Horn
  • Steering & suspension
  • Exhaust system
  • Wipers/Washers
  • Mirrors
  • Windscreen
  • Doors
  • Electrical wiring & battery
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Lights
  • Towbar
  • Registration plates
  • Boot/tailgate
  • Bonnet
  • Seats
  • Tyres, wheels & TPMS
  • Body/Vehicle structure/General items
  • Brakes
  • Fuel system