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What is an MOT Fine and How Much Are They?

An MOT is one of, if not the absolute, most important parts of your car’s paperwork and driving without one or after one has expired is likely to land you in hot water, and could cost you up to an eye-watering £2,500 if the car’s classification is deemed as dangerous – even if your previous MOT is yet to expire.

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What are MOT fines?

MOT fines are penalties issued to drivers caught in an unroadworthy vehicle. This could mean driving with no MOT or an expired MOT, or if you car has been labelled as ‘dangerous’ by your latest test, no matter if the previous certificate is still in date or not.

How much is the fine for no MOT?

If you are caught driving with no MOT, or the MOT has run out, you can be fined up to £1,000, although in most cases it is likely to be a £100 fixed penalty notice. This fine will also stand if you receive a ‘major’ fault on your latest MOT test, however, this can more than double to £2,500 if the vehicle receives a ‘dangerous’ classification.

If your vehicle does receive a ‘dangerous’ classification, not only could you be fined up to £2,500, but you could also find yourself with three points on your licence and, should you receive a penalty for this twice in a three year period, you could also see yourself confined to the passenger seat with a six-month driving ban.

Are MOT fines automated?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no 14-day grace period when it comes to MOT fines. As soon as your MOT expires, from that moment on it is deemed illegal to be driving your car on the road.

Additionally, once a car’s MOT has expired, the Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency’s database will be updated, meaning any checks for that car’s number plate will flag up that the car is driving without a valid MOT. This will also be picked up by Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, which are used by a variety of law enforcement agencies, including the DVLA and the police. 

ANPR cameras will then cross reference with the national database and will be able to instantly confirm if the car has a valid MOT, road tax or insurance. These cameras, or the police, will not be swayed if you claim that you had simply forgotten to renew your MOT, either. 

Can I drive without getting an MOT fine?

Providing your previous MOT is yet to expire, and there are no serious problems that would flag the car as ‘dangerous’, then yes, you can continue to drive your car until the date you’ll see the old MOT run out.

However, you can drive your car without an MOT, provided it is not listed as ‘dangerous’, if you are driving to get any issues that will fail the MOT fixed, or if you are driving to a prearranged MOT test.

Can I be fined for no MOT if it’s booked?

If you are driving to the test centre for the test, then you will be fine, but if you are simply driving to do your daily commute or to pop to the shops, then you can expect a fine to be heading your way.

How long do you have to pay an MOT fine?

As with most Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) you will have 28 days to pay your fine and you can make the payment directly via the website. In order to pay the fine you will need to have the notice number, the date of the offence and the offence code along with your own personal details. Cheque or credit/debit card payment options will be presented on the back of the FPN, and cash is no longer accepted. 

If the fine is accepted but you fail to pay, it will be registered with the court and can increase by up to 50%, and the court can then enforce the fine and has the option of issuing a warrant for your arrest if you do not respond.

How many days after MOT is due until you get fined?

You can be fined at any point after your MOT has run out as any insurances on your car will be invalidated upon expiration. In order to avoid a fine you must make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) and it must be kept in either a garage, on a drive or on private land. If the car is parked on a public road, it will go against the SORN and you could be fined further still.

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