An estimated 11.6 million UK motorists have forgotten to MOT their cars before the previous certificate had expired, according to a recent study.

The study conducted by Kwik Fit found that one in six drivers is a repeat offender, having been guilty of this multiple times in the past.

The survey of more than 2,000 Brits found that 29% confessed to having failed to send their car for a re-test before their last MOT expired, meaning they had been on the road illegally. Assuming the respondents to the Kwik Fit study were representative of the British public in general, that could mean as many as 11.6 million of us have been guilty of this.

The study also revealed the reasons behind drivers’ rule-breaking. Of those who admitted to missing the deadline, 42% said simple forgetfulness was the cause. However, 23% said they couldn’t afford the work needed to get the car through its test. Other motorists blamed not having made a note of the MOT expiry date (21%) and not being reminded by their garage (16%).

The study also found that 24% of drivers only used their car without a valid MOT for three days or less, however the average length of time for which drivers used their cars without an MOT certificate was 66.2 days.

“It is concerning to see that people are knowingly or unwittingly driving a vehicle which could pose a danger to them or other road users,” said Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit.

“We understand that people have busy lives and MOT dates can slip off the calendar or a ‘to do’ list. We would encourage drivers who don’t have a note of their expiry date to check it and get it marked in the calendar with plenty of time, to avoid any issues. March is a peak month for MOTs and so drivers should book as far in advance as possible to ensure they don’t end up driving illegally.”

“Many cars fail their MOTs on components which drivers should be very aware of, such as illegal tyre tread or lights not working,” Griggs continued.

“Some simple checks will enable motorists to prepare their car in advance and avoid that dreaded verdict of a fail. Now that a car’s MOT history is available online for anyone to see, including a prospective buyer, having a consistent series of passes will help show that a vehicle has been well maintained.”

Driving a car without a valid MOT on the public road is illegal, unless the vehicle is driving to or from a pre-booked MOT test. Offenders risk a fine of £1,000 or, if the vehicle is deemed to be in a dangerous condition, fines could come up to £2,500.


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