For some years now, there has been a persistent rumour that there is a fourteen-day grace period after one’s MOT certificate has expired. This is not and never has been true, and there is no grace period at all. Let’s have a look at how this rumour might have come into being, and what the consequences of assuming its truth might be.

Pre-Covid Rumour
Long before Covid-19 disrupted our lives for the best part of two years, many drivers assumed that they could happily drive their vehicle around with a recently expired MOT test certificate. The roots of this rumour seem to be unknown, but there are a number of places that it could have arisen:

  • Bloke down the pub: In the way of many such factoids, the narrative of the two-week grace period could have arisen from assumption – after all, many other aspects of life come with cooling off periods or grace periods for transitions from one cover to the next, and it might have simply sounded so sensible and logical that anyone hearing it assumed it to be true!
  • Ten-day retest: When you have an MOT test fail, you can often get your retest done within ten days for a lower price and a reduced test. In short, the MOT inspector will only look at the previously failed items on the checklist. After that ten day period, the passed items on the checklist are no longer considered reliable and you will have to pay the full fee for the full retest.
  • Pre-booked test: If a car has been off road, or undergoing repairs for such a long time that the MOT has expired, it will obviously have no valid MOT certificate. So, to get an MOT you can simply book your appointment today and experience the convenience of Elite Direct’s MOT while you wait option. If this car is not to be deemed in violation of the law, the owner will have to declare it SORN, and If you are driving to the MOT testing centre and have physical proof of the appointment for the test, you will not be penalised – but bear in mind that ANPR will almost certainly ensure that you are pulled over, so double-check that you are legally compliant before getting behind the wheel!

Covid-19 Waive
When the country was in lockdown and people were unable to leave their homes for any but the narrow band of approved activities (to go for a walk or to do shopping, basically) the government pushed back the MOT certificate date on a swathe of cars whose tests were due to expire between the 30th of March and 31st of July 2020.

Get It Done Early
Rather than leaving it to the last moment – and in theory you can get your MOT test done on the day it will expire (the validity is assumed to be in place until midnight) – you can get your MOT test done any time in the month before your MOT certificate without losing the anniversary date. If you are prompt and get your test done on the very first day you can, you could end up with an effective thirteen month MOT certificate, leaving you plenty of time to arrange the next test with MOT specialists Stockport.

Not Worth It
The penalties for driving without a valid MOT test, even if done for the most innocent reasons, can be harsh: up to £1,000 fine, as many as 8 penalty points on your licence, and the confiscation of your car. As if that was not all enough, your insurance policy will almost certainly become invalidated the moment your MOT certificate expired, leaving you without cover, even if you have been paying your premiums regularly. It really is not worth risking being without your MOT certificate!

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