Engine under the bonnet of a red car

Is there a grace period for car MOTs?

Making sure you keep on top of your MOT, tax and insurance may seem like a frustration at times, but they are incredibly important – failure to do so could land you in some serious trouble with the law.

But sometimes things slip by, and anyone can accidentally forget to book their MOT, but it’s okay because there’s a grace period, isn’t there? However, if this echoes your own thought process, you may be in for a bit of an unhappy shock…

What is a grace period?

A grace period, as the dictionary definition states, is “a period of time beyond a due date during which a financial obligation may be met without penalty or cancellation”. In layman’s terms, you don’t have to pay any fines if you’re late to the agreed date.

Is there a grace period for MOTs

There is a popular urban myth that there is a two-week grace period for MOTs – however this is nothing more than a myth. Once your MOT has lapsed, you can no longer drive the car on the road without breaking the law, unless you are driving to a pre-booked MOT test. If you do drive your car on the public highway without a valid MOT, you could be looking at a fine of up to £1000 if caught, and the chances of getting caught are quite high due to the number of Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems on the roads today.

Is there a grace period if my car has failed its MOT

If your car fails its MOT, then you are able to take a partial retest in order to get the car back on the road rather than a full retest, however you will only be allowed to drive the car away from the MOT test centre to make repairs, and then drive it back to the test centre with a pre-booked MOT retest. If the car has been marked as dangerous you cannot drive the car at all, even to make repairs, and the garage would be liable if you take the car on the road.

You only have 10 days to be able to get your repairs sorted before you have to pay full price again – for more information about MOT retests, click here. However, if your car fails its MOT, it is as of that moment not legally allowed on the road, and driving the car could again see you slapped with a £1000 fine.

What happens if I go over the MOT grace period?

If you do continue to drive without a valid MOT, not only could you be fined up to £1000, but it could also invalidate your insurance, meaning you would then be breaking the law twice; once for driving without an MOT and again for driving without insurance. If you are caught without insurance, you can receive an on-the-spot fine of £300 and 6 points on your licence, although for more serious offenders the fine is unlimited, and can result in being banned from driving and the car being seized – even if the driver does not own the car.

So, contrary to popular belief, there is no grace period when it comes to your MOT, and the penalties surrounding driving without MOT or insurance are so severe that for the sake of a £55 MOT it really isn’t worth the risk.



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