How Much MOT Do I Need To Be Left To Tax My Car?

A valid MOT is essential to update your car tax payment; without which you will not be able to drive on a public road. Through this blog post, we aim to learn how much MOT you need to be left on your certificate before expiry so that you can tax your car. In addition to this, we will also discuss the impact of situations such as a failed or expired MOT on one’s ability to tax their car and consequently, drive it. 

How Much MOT Do I Need To Be Left To Tax My Car?

The MOT on your car should be valid on the first day that your car tax is applied to or is supposed to start from. This means that you need a valid MOT to be left on your car the next time you pay car tax or you will not be able to do so. 

If your car tax is due for payment on the 1st day of March, you should have a valid MOT until then. However, waiting until the last minute to apply for an MOT test and renewal certificate may not be advisable. You can book an MOT test before it is due to run out (especially in the case of a car older than three years) so that your vehicle documents remain updated as you tax your car.

The expiration date of a valid MOT is mentioned on the certificate and it is best to update it as per requirements so that you are able to pay your car tax on time. You can pay your MOT a month before it is due to expire. 

If you are not sure about the validity of your MOT and you don’t have the certificate from the previous year, you can check the MOT status of your vehicle on the Government’s website and when it is due for expiration by entering the vehicle registration details. 

You can also use the Government’s website to set up alerts to remind you of when your MOT is due for expiration so that you can have your MOT appointment scheduled accordingly. Alerts can be set in the form of SMS or email reminders.

Vehicle owners should be mindful of the fact that in the absence of a valid MOT, you may not be able to get your car tax paid or have your insurance renewed. This means that you will not be able to drive your car on public roads until you have a valid MOT, updated car tax payments as well as valid insurance.

Can I Tax My Car If It Fails The MOT Test?

You may be able to pay your car tax if it fails the MOT test; however, whether or not you can drive away your car depends on if your car has been declared as dangerous for being driven on public roads.

If your car is declared dangerous during an MOT test, you must repair it before driving it. Otherwise, if it is found on a public road, you can face a fine, a driving ban and points on your license.

If your car fails the MOT test but is not declared dangerous, and your MOT certificate is valid, you can tax your car or even drive it to a garage or your home. However, the vehicle must be repaired as per the advice suggested during the MOT test.

In order to have your car tax paid, it is essential to have a valid MOT and valid insurance. Otherwise, you will neither be able to tax your car until the documents are updated, nor drive it on a public road.

What Happens If You Drive A Car With An Expired MOT?

If a vehicle owner is found to be driving a car with an expired MOT (and expired car tax) by the authorities or someone reports a vehicle for doing so, they can be 

  • reported to the police department and onwards to the DVLA 
  • penalised with a charge of £2,500
  • banned from driving 
  • addition of 3 points to their driver’s license

If someone is to report a vehicle for expired MOT, they will need to provide the below information:  

  • number plate or registration number of the vehicle
  • details of the car such as colour, make and model
  • the location where the vehicle was seen by the complainant

You can only drive your car with an expired MOT if you are attending an MOT appointment. Otherwise, if your vehicle is detected and found on a public road without a valid MOT, you can be fined, get points on your license or have your vehicle clamped by the DVLA.

Can I Insure My Car With An Expired MOT?

No, you cannot insure your car with an expired MOT. Similarly, if you are renewing your car insurance, you will not be able to do so if your vehicle is deemed unworthy. Therefore, in addition to making sure that your car tax is duly paid, and your MOT is updated, you need to keep a regular check on your vehicle’s performance such as brakes and oil so that you can drive it on public roads.

This means that with an expired MOT, you can neither insure your car nor update your car tax. When a car owner applies for car tax payment, the DVLA checks the MOT status of the vehicle and if it carries valid insurance. In the absence of either of these, car owners are asked to first update their MOT and car insurance, then pay their car tax. It is only when all three requirements are met, that a vehicle owner can drive their car on public roads.


We’ve learnt from the discussion in this article that if you need to confirm the MOT status of your vehicle before paying your car tax, you would need to make sure that it is valid on the date when the car tax is being applied to or is supposed to start from. If you expect your vehicle’s MOT certificate to expire before your car tax runs out, it would be best to book an MOT appointment in advance to make sure that you can continue driving your car without the risk of a penalty.

FAQs: How Much MOT Do I Need To Be Left To Tax My Car?

Can I tax my car with 1 day’s MOT left?

You can tax your car with 1 day of MOT left only if your car tax also starts from the same date. In order to pay your car tax, you must have a valid MOT (in addition to valid insurance), otherwise, your car cannot be taxed.

Do you get 14 days’ grace for an MOT?

No, despite popular belief, there is no grace period when it comes to expired MOTs. vehicle owners should ensure that their vehicle documents such as MOTs, insurance and car tax payments are all up to date.

What happens if my MOT is late?

If a vehicle owner does not have their MOT refreshed in due time, they can face hefty fines, points added to their license and run the risk of invalidating their insurance.

Do speed cameras check MOT?

Yes, speed cameras can check the MOT status of a vehicle using their ANPR system which recognises vehicles from their registration numbers.

Can the police detect no MOT?

Yes, the police can detect if a vehicle is being driven without a valid MOT. registration details of vehicles without an MOT are passed on to the police authorities who can track and penalise the vehicle owner.


How do I renew my car tax if my MOT has expired? | Chippenham

Can I Tax And Insure A Car Without An MOT? | Kwik Fit.

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