Section 47(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that it is an offence for anyone to drive, or allow or cause to be driven, a vehicle which requires, but does not have, a valid Ministry of Transport (MOT) test certificate.
Section 47(2) states that the vehicles to which this applies are those first registered over three years ago, or
“those which, having a date of manufacture not less than three years before that time, have been used on roads (whether in Great Britain or elsewhere) before being registered”
In addition, certain vehicles which are used to carry passengers need to be tested after one year. These are:
The penalty for driving a vehicle that has not successfully passed an MOT is likely to be a fine, the severity of whihc will depend upon the extent of the offence and whether it was in respect of a private vehicle or one being used to carry passengers or goods. However, it will not on its own result in either the imposition of penalty points or a disqualification.
There are a number of exemptions or defences which you might be able to take the benefit of in relation to this offence.
If you are taking the vehicle to an MOT testing station for the purposes of having a test carried out when you are stopped then you may be able to avoid being convicted provided that you can show that it was “by previous arrangement”. However, you should note that even if the test centre is one which does not require that a test be booked, you may still be found guilty if you cannot show a “previous arrangement” – that is to say that you have contacted the test centre and made arrangements to bring the vehicle in for testing at a particular time.
The other main exemption is in relation to vehicles brought from abroad. If you can show that the vehicle has only been brought into Great Britain temporarily and has an appropriate registration mark for the company from which it came then you will be able to avoid prosecution.
For more information, or to speak to one of our solicitors, please contact keepmedriving either by completing the appropriate online information form which you will find in the Getting Help section, by requesting a free call-back using the free, no-obligation call-back form to the right or by phoning us during office hours on 084 4804 4804