Can You Pay Road Tax Without A Valid MOT?

If you are wondering whether or not you can pay road tax without a valid MOT, you will find the answer to your question in the following article. In addition to answering if you can pay road tax without a valid MOT, we will also explore the importance of a valid MOT to pay your road tax; as well as assess different situations in which your road tax payment can be affected if your vehicle’s MOT runs out.

Can You Pay Road Tax Without A Valid MOT?

No, you cannot pay road tax without a valid MOT in the UK. The MOT is a legal requirement for all vehicles, and it is used to check that the vehicle is safe to drive. If your MOT has expired, you will not be able to renew your road tax until you have passed a new MOT test.

When you purchase a car from its previous owner, the system will automatically check that there is a valid MOT for your car before allowing you to purchase your tax. If you prefer to purchase your vehicle tax in person, you can take your MOT certificate and your V11 reminder to a post office dealing with road tax and make the necessary payment. However, you will need an up-to-date MOT certificate to be able to do this.

Meanwhile, if you purchase a brand-new car, you do not need a valid MOT until it has been three years of your purchase. This means that for the first three years of buying a brand-new vehicle, you can pay road tax without the need for a valid MOT.

At the same time, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, you can pay road tax without a valid MOT if your vehicle falls under any of the following categories:

  • a historic vehicle that is at least 40 years old
  • a vehicle that is used for agricultural purposes
  • a vehicle that is used for medical purposes

Vehicle owners should be mindful of the fact that driving a car without a valid MOT and road tax is illegal. Here are some of the consequences of driving without a valid MOT:

  • you could be fined up to £1,000
  • you could receive three penalty points on your driving license
  • your insurance could be invalidated
  • you could be banned from driving

Why Do You Need A Valid MOT To Pay Your Car Tax?

A valid MOT is required to pay your car tax because it serves as proof that your vehicle meets the minimum safety and environmental standards necessary for it to be considered roadworthy. 

The MOT test assesses various aspects of your vehicle, including its emissions, brakes, lights, and overall condition. 

By having a valid MOT certificate, you demonstrate that your car has undergone this examination and has met the necessary requirements. This helps ensure that vehicles on the road are safe and meet the necessary legal standards. 

Therefore, before paying your car tax, it is important to have a valid MOT to comply with the regulations and ensure the roadworthiness of your vehicle.

Why Is A Valid MOT Important For Paying Road Tax?

A valid MOT is extremely important for making sure that your road tax payments are updated. The main reasons for this include the following:

  • you cannot tax your car if your MOT has expired
  • your current road tax becomes void when your MOT expires
  • your MOT must be valid on the start date of your road tax

To purchase vehicle tax, it’s essential to have an up-to-date MOT certificate, whether you buy it online or in person at a post office. When you receive your V11 vehicle tax reminder by mail, check your car’s next MOT due date to ensure that you have a valid MOT when you renew your vehicle tax.

If your MOT has expired, you cannot purchase vehicle tax, and you’ll be driving without a valid car tax, which is illegal. To legally drive your car, you must have an in-date MOT or Exemption, third-party motor insurance cover, and car tax.

Before purchasing vehicle tax, make sure your MOT is valid from the start date of your vehicle tax or the day it’s issued. If your MOT expires before either of these dates, you must schedule an MOT promptly to ensure that you can tax your car before the MOT’s expiration for a smooth process,

What Happens To The Remaining Amount Of Road Tax If Your MOT Runs Out?

If your MOT has expired, you might be concerned about the vehicle tax you have already paid and what happens to the remaining car tax before it expires. This will entirely depend on your circumstances.

For instance, if your vehicle fails the MOT and is deemed unfit for the road, you have the option to get it repaired promptly and request an MOT retest. If your car successfully passes the MOT retest and your tax is still valid, there is no further action required until it’s time to renew both the MOT and vehicle tax again.

However, if you choose not to undertake the necessary repairs to pass the MOT test, you will not be able to legally drive the vehicle on public roads.

If you plan to keep your car off the road for a certain period and don’t intend to have an MOT retest immediately, you can declare your vehicle as ‘off the road,’ also known as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). 

When you declare your vehicle “off the road”, you can claim a refund for any full months of car tax that are left before its expiry. However, you will not receive a refund for any partial months of vehicle tax remaining.


The above discussion helps to conclude that you can neither pay your road tax without a valid MOT for your vehicle nor will an ongoing paid road tax remain viable if your MOT runs out. If you drive your vehicle on a public road in such a situation, you can face severe consequences including hefty fines by the DVLA.


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Can you drive a car without MOT? How Long? What Happens? | National