If your vehicle has failed its MOT or your current MOT has expired, then you may not know whether you can continue to drive or park your car. 

Even so, it is incredibly important that you know what to do if your vehicle does not have an MOT, as you could be faced with fines and possibly even a driving ban if you get this wrong.

In this article, we cover some of the most common questions people ask regarding driving and parking without an MOT.


Can I Drive My Car on the Road Without an MOT?

It is illegal to drive a vehicle on the road if its MOT has expired, and you could be fined up to £1000 for doing so.

Without a valid MOT, you may only drive the car if you are heading directly to or from a garage for a pre-booked MOT test, a pre-arranged repair designed to fix any defects found during a previous MOT test. 

You can drive the vehicle on a road without road tax if the above circumstances apply, but your vehicle must be insured.

Not having an MOT can have an impact on the validity of your insurance, so you should check this with your insurance provider if you are at all concerned. 

As insurers require that vehicles are safe to drive and have valid MOT test certificates, driving without an MOT could invalidate your car insurance and land you a £300 fine and 6 points on your licence.


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You could even be issued with an unlimited fine and a driving ban if you are found driving an uninsured vehicle. The police may also choose to seize and destroy the vehicle.

The only other lawful way to move a vehicle which does not have a valid MOT would be via a trailer or recovery vehicle where all four of the vehicle’s wheels are off the ground. 

Police cars and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras can recognise your vehicle’s MOT status, meaning you could be caught driving without one. 

Make your life easier by booking an MOT test for your vehicle ahead of your current MOT's expiry date.


Can I Park My Car on the Road Without One?

Likewise, it is an offence to park a vehicle without a valid MOT on a public road. You should book an MOT test immediately, as the vehicle could be reported to the police, earning you a fine or leading to the car being seized. 

If you do not think you will drive the car for some time, you should make a SORN declaration and keep the car on a driveway or private land.


Can I Report a Car Without an MOT?

To report a vehicle without an MOT that is being used on a road to your local police department, you will need the vehicle’s:

  • Number plate
  • Colour
  • Make
  • Model
  • Location

After you provide this information, the police will investigate and could issue the driver with a £1000 fine.


Can I Drive My Car Away From The Garage After a Failed MOT Test?

If your vehicle fails its MOT test on a major defect, you can technically continue to drive the vehicle until the current MOT certificate expires.

That being said, the vehicle must meet a minimum standard of roadworthiness, meaning that amongst other things the tyres must have at least 1.6mm of tread, and the lights and brakes must be working properly. 

However, you cannot drive the vehicle away from the garage if any of the defects found were classed as dangerous.

A dangerous defect could pose serious safety or environmental risks, so you should not drive the vehicle until these faults have been addressed and repaired.

If you do drive the vehicle in this state, you could be fined up to £2,500, and receive a driving ban and 3 penalty points on your licence. 


Aside from the potential fines you could incur, an MOT test is designed to keep yourself and others safe, and you cannot drive or park your car without a valid MOT certificate.

If your MOT is due to expire, be sure to book an MOT test near you, so that you always have a valid certificate to hand. 


Don't know your vehicle registration?