If you plan on selling a car without an MOT, this process has several pros and cons which you should consider. 

For some, the money spent on the repairs needed to get a vehicle to pass its MOT may not be a worthy investment. You may instead prefer to sell your car privately or as scrap 

Whilst it is not illegal to sell a car with a failed or expired MOT, you must make sure that the buyer can collect the car without having it driven on public roads - perhaps by using a loader trailer. 

A car with a failed MOT may only otherwise be driven to a pre-booked repair or MOT test - provided the vehicle has no serious faults - as it is illegal to drive a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate.  

Read on and find out how to sell a car without an MOT, and the pros and cons of doing so.  


Is It Legal to Sell a Car Without an MOT? 

It is legal for anyone - including car dealers - to sell a vehicle without a current MOT certificate.

That being said, it is illegal to sell a car without making the buyer aware of the vehicle’s MOT status. A seller does not technically need to disclose MOT advisories, so you may wish to check the vehicle’s history before committing to a purchase.  

The DVLA has a free Online Enquiry Service where you can enter the car’s reg number to find out a vehicle’s current tax and MOT status. Though tax is usually cancelled when a car is sold or traded to a dealer, the date the tax expired or was cancelled will be provided. If the MOT and tax expired a while ago, then it is likely that the car has been off the road for a while.  

If you are planning to buy a car, it is a good idea to carry out these checks on the vehicle, even if you are buying from a reputable car dealer.  


Who Will Buy a Vehicle Without a Valid MOT Certificate?

Online car-buying services and trade dealers will buy cars and vans without valid MOT certificates, as they have access to removal services and can collect vehicles cheaply and easily.

A private buyer will have to find a way of collecting the vehicle without driving it.  


How Do I Sell a Car Which Has Failed Its MOT?

You can advertise an MOT failure vehicle on car selling websites, online marketplaces and in automotive magazines if you are hoping to sell.  

It is extremely important that you are clear about the car’s MOT status in these adverts, and when discussing the car with potential buyers or interested parties, as this could impact the price someone is willing to pay for the vehicle.  

You must not allow anyone to test drive the vehicle, as a car with a failed MOT cannot be driven on public roads and this could result in a hefty fine and penalty points. As previously stated, this also means that the buyer will need to arrange for the car to be collected or towed.  

In order to secure the best price for the vehicle, you should consider having the vehicle repaired, MOT certified and professionally cleaned before trying to sell it on.  


Don't know your vehicle registration?
General Repair


Whilst it is legal to sell a car without an MOT to a car dealer, many car dealers will not wish to purchase MOT failure cars, or will offer a low price for them. This is due to the fact that MOT failure vehicles can be costly to bring up to a roadworthy condition.  

Alternatively, car buying services may purchase a car without an MOT, provided you can hand over key documents, such as the V5C logbook. You may need to arrange for the vehicle to be transported if you use a car buying service.  


What Are The Pros of Selling a Car Without an MOT?

Selling a car without an MOT isn’t always easy. The biggest pro of selling a car without an MOT is that you won’t necessarily have to spend time and money having the vehicle repaired so that it passes an MOT retest in future. 

However, if you choose not to have the vehicle repaired and maintained, a potential buyer may see this as a good reason to offer less for the car.  

Alternatively, you may wish to scrap an MOT failure car through a car buying service or your local Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) if you feel it is beyond repair. An ATF may even collect the vehicle for you as part of its scrappage service.  

They will need your V5C to decide whether to scrap or repair the car. You will receive a ‘certificate of destruction’ within 7 days if the vehicle is due to be scrapped. The process is usually free, and you may even be paid the ‘scrap value’ of the vehicle.  

If the vehicle is scrapped, you must let the DVLA know - you could receive a fine if you do not do this.  


What Are The Cons of Selling a Car Without an MOT?

Selling a car without an MOT to a private buyer is a complex process, as the buyer will need to arrange for the vehicle to be towed and repaired before they can legally drive it.

You should adjust your asking price with this in mind.  


We hope you have enjoyed reading about selling vehicles without MOTs.


Don't know your vehicle registration?


If your vehicle’s current MOT certificate is due to expire, you can easily book an MOT test near you.