RAC Cars News


A Third of British Motorists Neglect MOT's

By raccars Published

A recent SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) report has shown that a surprising third of British motorists have knowingly driven a car without a valid MOT certificate – that's about ten million MOT-free cars on the road. The survey involved 1,000 motorists in the UK and was conducted in conjunction with auto manufacturers.

Of those who admitted to driving without an MOT, 67% did so for as long as a week during the period between a test failure and retest. 24% of survey respondents have driven for up to a month without a valid MOT certificate, another 7% for up to six months and a further 2% continuing to drive a car without an MOT certificate for over six months. The offence carries the risk of potential penalty fines of up to £1,000 and of invalidating motor insurance policies, with an attendant penalty of six-eight licence points. If cars are more than three years old they must have a valid MOT certificate in order to be taxed, failure to do which can incur further possible penalty fines.

Apparently male drivers are worse offenders than women, with 35% admitting to driving without an MOT compared to 31% of women drivers. Geographic differences are also notable, with drivers in the East Midlands more law abiding than their MOT-dodging neighbours in the south west. Less than 15% of East Midlands drivers have driven cars lacking a valid MOT compared to nearly 41% in the south west.

Younger drivers also appear to be a forgetful bunch, with 39% of the 18-24 age group admitting to the offence. Only 28% of 45-54 years olds have done the same and 28.2% of over 55s..

While reasons for neglecting to comply with MOT legislation include financial restrictions to simply forgetting, the SMMT is working on a service designed to issue car owners with an annual MOT reminder ahead of time, free of charge. Furthermore, it is reminding drivers that to make the process easier, over 5,500 franchised dealerships offer free of charge ten point pre-MOT visual inspections to help drivers identify and correct simple issues beforehand and avoid test failures. Elements of the 'Minute Or Two' initiative, which can also easily be carried out by car owners themselves, include checking headlamps, windscreen wipers, tyres and fluid levels.

All the major manufacturers are supporting the 'Minute Or Two' scheme to help motorists avoid obvious MOT failures.

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