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Over a quarter of drivers are late for their MoT

DVSA says 28 per cent of cars are late for MoT; figures follow investigation revealing £35million in fines issued for offence since 2012

MOT testing station

More than a quarter of cars are late for their MoT, figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVSA) have revealed. Of the 28 per cent of motorists late for their MoT, two thirds were a week or more overdue. 

Transport Minister Baroness Sugg said while booking a car’s MoT was “easy to overlook”, the annual checks are vital in "making sure the vehicles on our roads are safe and meeting high environmental standards." To help motorsists keep their cars’ MOTs up to date, the DVSA has launched a free reminder service motorists can sign up for.

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MoTs are required annually for all cars over three years old – though a recent Government proposal suggested increasing this to four years.

Big fines for motorists forgetting MoTs

Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 for not having an up-to-date MoT, and a recent investigation by our sister site Carbuyer.co.uk found £35million in penalties have been handed out across the UK in the last five years. 

A Freedom of Information request to the 45 police forces in the UK found that since 2012 drivers have been hit with 424,316 penalties for driving without a valid MoT certificate. The typical fine for an out-of-date MoT is a £100 fixed penalty notice, which was increased from £60 in August 2013.

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However, fines can go up to £1,000 if taken to court. Figures from the 36 police forces able to reply to the request showed each region earns on average £7.5million a year from MoT fines. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) shares its MoT data with the police, who in return use ANPR cameras to catch drivers with expired MoTs.

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• How to check your car mileage and MoT history online

West Yorkshire Police issued the highest number of penalties to drivers, handing out over 121,000 since 2012, ahead of the Metropolitan Police in London in second place, with over 64,000 penalties.

A spokesman from West Yorkshire Police said: “Driving a vehicle without a valid MoT is taken seriously. The proactive work that our officers continue to do shows that this is an unacceptable risk, and as such anyone found without a valid MoT will be dealt with positively.”

An Auto Express poll found that a third of drivers said they had forgotten to renew their current MoT on time, with 12 per cent leaving it over a month overdue.

The money earned from the fines is sent to the HM Treasury’s consolidated fund, which the Treasury dubbed the “Government’s bank account”.

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Although some dealers offer automatic MoT reminders, there is no Government system in place like there is for Vehicle Excise Duty, which sees all motorists automatically sent an annual notification when their road tax is due.

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The reminder service recently announced by the DVSA sends out emails and text message reminders, but drivers must sign up to this, rather than being enrolled automatically. Conversely, Northern Irish drivers automatically get a reminder letter six weeks before their MoTs are due.

Fines issued to drivers without up-to-date MoT

 Police Force 201220132014201520162017Total fines
1West Yorkshire24,41533,05020,01522,32616,6515,193121,650
2Metropolitan10,53015,49711,26010,20711,5595,51764,570
3ScotlandN/A18,54415,52814,56914,725N/A63,366
4Essex5,3595,6854,2054,2473,15497623,626
5Merseyside4,4115,1024,7273,6693,5721,74323,224
6Hertfordshire4,5814,0482,8311,8961,83064515,831
7Hampshire1,5622,0932,3342,1521,50154910,191
8South Yorkshire1,8931,8921,7361,8221,8116029,756
9Suffolk1,4351,8701,3671,8901,4153218,298
10Northern Ireland1,4761,2351,5307196111,1616,732

Have you been fined for failing to renew your MoT? Let us know below...

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