A third of motorists admit to driving without a valid MOT

  • MOT-Centre-car-image30.65% in London & the South East have driven a car without a valid MOT.
  • Across the UK, 10 million vehicle owners have driven with no MOT.
  • 67% admitted driving for up to a week without a valid MOT certificate; 24% for up to a month; 7% for as long as six months.
  • Men are more likely than women to drive after the MOT test has lapsed.
  • Roy Chapman Ltd will perform a free 10-point visual inspection before the MOT to help vehicles avoid failing the test due to simple-to-fix issues.
  • Free MOT reminder and handy tips available at www.passmymot.co.uk.

Shocking new findings show that a third of motorists have driven a car knowing it has no MOT. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) surveyed 1,000 UK motorists and found that, of those that have driven a car without a valid MOT, 67% admitted driving for up to a week before the retest, 24% for up to a month, 7% for up to six months and 2% for more than six months.

The research has been carried out in partnership with car manufacturers and their dealer networks throughout the UK, including Roy Chapman Ltd in Berkhamsted,  as part of the industry’s ‘Minute Or Two’ initiative, which encourages motorists to carry out 10 simple visual checks of their vehicle prior to the MOT test.

By driving without an MOT, motorists risk fines of up to £1,000, as well as potentially invalidating their motor insurance, which itself counts as a driving offence carrying between six to eight penalty points. Cars older than three years also require a valid MOT before they can be taxed – with further fines for motorists who drive an untaxed car.

The research suggests men are more likely to continue driving after their MOT has lapsed – 35% of all male drivers say they have done so, versus 31% of female drivers.

There are significant regional differences in the findings, with 30.65% of motorists in London & the South East having driven without a valid MOT. The East Midlands topped the table for remembering to carry out a car’s MOT, with just 15% of motorists in the region saying they had previously forgotten. At the opposite end of the spectrum, drivers in the South West were most likely to drive without an MOT, with 41% admitting to the lapse (see full table below).

The data also suggests that younger motorists are worst at remembering the test date, with 39% of drivers aged 18-24 saying they have continued to drive after the MOT had expired. The most diligent motorists were 45-54 year-olds, with only 28% saying the same.

To help motorists remember to have their car tested each year; Roy Chapman Ltd is urging car owners to use the free MOT service reminder launched in partnership with the Trading Standards-approved garage network, Motor Codes. Available at www.passmymot.co.uk, the service will send motorists a reminder every year before their car’s annual test of roadworthiness is due.

The ‘Minute Or Two’ scheme is backed by every major car maker in the UK, with technicians at more than 5,500 manufacturer main dealerships committed to carry out a free 10-point pre-MOT visual inspection to help the vehicle avoid failing its test due to simple-to-fix issues. The full ‘Minute Or Two’ checklist (also at www.passmymot.co.uk), includes checks of headlights, tyres, windscreen wipers and fluid levels.

Roy Chapman Ltd is one of the manufacturer dealers recommended by Ford and Mazda and all its MOT and service work is carried out by manufacturer-trained technicians using the highest-quality diagnostic equipment and fully-approved parts appropriate to each specific vehicle. Using a manufacturer main dealer, such as Roy Chapman Ltd, also assures the customer that any required software updates will be carried out to keep the car running at its best.

“Each year, a significant proportion of motorists forget their car’s MOT, risking safety, fines and penalty points,” explains Jeremy Chapman, Aftersales Director of Roy Chapman Ltd. “When visiting Roy Chapman Ltd, motorists can be sure of the most highly-trained technicians, using the parts manufacturers recommend along with the best diagnostic equipment.

“By carrying out free pre-MOT checks, along with an MOT reminder service run by Motor Codes, we are helping drivers to avoid basic MOT test fails by spotting simple-to-fix problems before the MOT lapses.”

For more information on getting a free pre-MOT check, visit Roy Chapman Ltd at Gossoms End (A4251), Berkhamsted, HP4 3LP or call 01442 871234.

By region – percentage of motorists that have ever driven a car without a valid MOT

East Midlands


South East


North East


Yorkshire and the Humber


East Anglia




North West


West Midlands


Northern Ireland






South West


By age – percentage of motorists that have ever driven a car without a valid MOT












By gender – percentage of motorists that have ever driven a car without a valid MOT