Failed MOT Can Mean a £2,500 Fine

The average driver understands that a brand-new car needs its first MOT test on the third anniversary of the original registration. Thereafter, annual MOTs are required. But do you know that a failed MOT could mean a £2,500 fine – even if you take your car in before your current MOT expires?

News outlets recently began reporting on this troubling fact even as drivers across the UK are finding themselves in trouble with the law. Apparently, the problem stems from scheduling an MOT early in the hope of learning what work needs to be done before the car will eventually pass.

If a car fails and the driver continues driving it, trouble is waiting around the corner. Here’s why: the garage conducting the MOT test must record the failure in the nationwide database regardless of the date the test was conducted. So even if you were to take your car in 30 days before it was due, a failure takes effect the very same day. Continuing to drive the car without fixing the defects is illegal.

The Law Is Clear

The Sun reports on its website that the DVLA is very clear about failed MOT tests. The site explains that drivers may not be aware that a failed MOT is recorded in a national database that alerts traffic police to the unsuitability of the failed car to be on the road. If the driver of that car is pulled over by police, the result could be a £2,500 fine.

How would you know that your car is linked to a failed MOT in the government database? Because you would receive a ‘refusal of an MOT certificate’ from the garage that conducted the MOT test. That refusal supersedes any current MOT certificate you might possess.

Another thing drivers do not fully understand is that even though they can take their cars away after a failed MOT test, that does not mean those cars are fit to be driven. If a driver operating a failed car were to be involved in an accident at any point prior to fixing the defects, there could be serious liabilities involved above and beyond the £2,500 fine.

Two Life Lessons Here

The lessons in all of this are very clear. First, it matters not whether you drive a BMW, Volkswagen, Renault, or Citroen; do not put your car back on the road if it fails its MOT test. Get the repairs made and then have the car retested. Otherwise, you are facing the potential of a serious fine and any additional liabilities that might come about as the result of an accident.

There second lesson to be learned here is equally important: do not take your car in for an early MOT test if you are at all concerned it might fail. A better idea is to ask a local mechanic to do a cursory inspection and let you know what needs to be done before your next MOT. Then you can plan for the work.

Sources:

Sun – https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/3506420/the-mot-loophole-that-can-get-you-a-2500-fine-and-three-demerit-points-even-if-most-recent-test-is-valid/

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