Unlike car tax, the government doesn’t email or send out reminder letters as a matter of course for MOTs. There is a text message reminder service but you have to actively opt-in to receive texts. If you don’t sign up, you could easily forget that the MOT is due. Similarly, some garages will keep a record of what customers book MOT tests, and will send an email or text when that time of year is rolling around again. But not all do, and if you change your mobile number or move house, you could easily miss those sorts of notifications anyway. So if life gets on top of you and you realise that your MOT has expired, what should you do? Get Booked In The obvious first step is to get your car booked in for its
MOT checker as soon as possible. If you live in a town or city, there are probably dozens of testing stations within striking distance, so hit the internet or call around and find out about availability. The downside to this is that you are unlikely to be able to secure a bargain price or pick and choose the time slot which is most convenient for you. Larger chain garages are more likely to be open on evenings and weekends than smaller, independent garages. Remember that you’re committing an offence by driving your car on the roads without a valid MOT, so get an appointment as soon as you can, and don’t drive your car on the road. Don’t Risk a Fine The law is very clear on the consequences of driving your car without a valid MOT. The penalty for having an expired MOT is a fixed penalty fine of £100, plus three points on your driving licence. Modern technology means you’re more likely than ever to be caught too. In the past, you’d only be caught if you were stopped for another offence and then the police ran your details through the computer. Nowadays, many police cars are equipped with software which automatically flags up any cars which don’t have an MOT, tax or insurance as they drive past. The only exception to this is when you have no option but to drive your car to your MOT appointment. If you’re stopped by the police in this situation, they will want to see proof of your appointment. They won’t just take your word for it. Set Reminders Forgetting your MOT one year is understandable. Everyone forgets things from time to time. But if you’re landed with a fine for forgetting one year, this should focus the mind a little. Set reminders on your phone, write it on the calendar or ask the mechanic to contact you a couple of weeks before your next test is due. Remembering to book your test in advance also gives you a lot more control over where and when you have it done. Many garages will offer cheap tests if you’re prepared to take an unpopular time slot, or for booking in advance online.