Thousands of drivers up and down the UK are being hit with fines after failing an MOT – despite having a current valid MOT test certificate – as a failed footprint is recorded on the national database leaving you vulnerable to traffic police and prosecution.
Many drivers put their car in for an MOT early to find out if any faults need repairing thinking they can use the vehicle until the old test runs out – but they run the risk of an in-car traffic police computer. An MOT can be carried out up to one calendar month prior to the expiry date of your existing MOT certificate, whilst still preserving the anniversary of the expiry date.
If you have your test carried out a month before the due date, your MOT is effectively valid for 13 months. A lot of speculation has surrounded the subject in recent years online with many people believing booking in early is a good thing. But a failed registered MOT test could get you pulled over if your car is deemed unfit for the road potentially leaving you facing a fine of up to £2,500, a driving ban and three penalty points.
The government’s guidelines warn motorists that they face prosecution if they drive their car following an MOT failure – even if its previous test hasn’t expired.
THE DVLA website states: If your vehicle fails the MOT: you’ll get a ‘refusal of a MOT test certificate’ from the test centre. It will be recorded in the MOT database. You can take your vehicle away if your MOT certificate is still valid. A spokesperson for scrapcarcomparison.co.uk, a national comparison website that buys thousands of MOT failures, says many drivers are not aware of the MOT procedure.
“Many drivers will not be aware a refused MOT will be recorded on the national database potentially alerting your vehicle to the traffic police and it being potentially unfit to drive.
“We’ve had many a situation where a customer – after undertaking an early MOT and the car failing – has driven their car knowing it is potentially dangerous to drive. They’ve then been involved in an accident, writing off their car and ended up in court prosecuted. A current valid certificate doesn’t make a car ‘road safe’. Serious faults flagged up by an MOT inspector and these not being addressed could leave you seriously liable.
“In any case, your vehicle needs to meet the minimum standards of roadworthiness at all times so it’s advisable to get any repair work fixed immediately so your car is fit for the road and avoiding prosecution. You will then have the peace of mind knowing it will sail through its next test.”
So, you might want to think next time before being so organized and booking in your car early potentially notifying the police database your car is unroadworthy and leaving you liable for prosecution – and you definitely can’t plead ignorance if you have a MOT fail sheet informing you of this.