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Can You Insure Car Without MOT, Or Is It Mandatory By Law?

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MOTs can be time-consuming, costly, and demand mandatory repairs or servicing on your vehicle. So, can you insure car without MOT or is it strictly necessary?

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Subjecting your car to an MOT test is often considered a hassle. Depending on the vehicle, you may need to spend between £30-£125 for the test itself. It often takes the better part of a day to have your car evaluated. If the tester notes safety issues on the vehicle, you will be compelled to have them serviced, repaired, or even replaced before you're allowed to pass the MOT test.

As such, many people wonder: "can you insure car without MOT?"

In the technical sense, you can. In practice, you cannot.

Not Getting An MOT Certificate For Your Car

To be specific, some car insurance providers will accept you and your vehicle without a valid MOT certificate. However, this is often done with the expectation that an MOT test is in the near future and you will be able to provide the certificate soon. Accepting you now is a courtesy designed to save time.

If you continue without a certificate, your insurer is unlikely to cover you in the event of an accident. More importantly, driving without a valid MOT certificate is illegal. Doing so may invalidate your insurance policy automatically.

Beyond this, you will need a valid MOT certificate to renew the annual road tax on your vehicle. The vehicle will be officially checked to ensure that it has a valid MOT certification, so there is no way around this.

If you do not currently have an MOT certificate, you will need to obtain one before it can be taxed, and it's recommended that you do so before seeking insurance policies.

Why Do I Need A Valid MOT To Tax My Vehicle?

Vehicle tax is applied to all vehicles that:

  • Use public roads (either for driving or parking)
  • Damage the environment, as is the case with petrol and diesel vehicles

If your vehicle falls in either or both categories, it will be taxed. In order to drive on public roads, you must have a valid MOT certificate for safety reasons. As such, one leads to the next, so you must show that you have passed an MOT in order to pay your vehicle taxes.

An exception is found with electric vehicles. As of April 2017, however, new all-electric vehicles are exempt from vehicle tax as an incentive for switching to cleaner driving practices. This has transformed vehicle tax into essentially a "hydrocarbon" tax.

What Happens To My Insurance If My Car Fails Its MOT?

If your vehicle has failed an MOT test booked prior to the expiry date, then insurers will often cover the vehicle up until its expiry, unless the vehicle is listed as having dangerous faults on the MOT. This depends on the provider, however. You should contact your insurer to ensure they provide coverage following an MOT failure.

What Happens To My Remaining Months Of Tax If My Vehicle Fails Its MOT

If you repair your vehicle according to the MOT test's recommendations, and it is still covered by in-date car tax and insurance, then you will be able to drive your vehicle as normal after obtaining a passed MOT certification.

If you decide not to repair the vehicle (and thus not obtain an MOT certificate), then you must stop driving the car or declare your vehicle as an "off-road" vehicle. In this case, you will get a refund on any full months of remaining tax.

You can declare your car off-road by applying online on the GOV website. Just keep in mind that you will not be able to drive this vehicle on roads going forward.

How To Check When Your MOT Is Due

If you are unsure when your MOT is scheduled to expire, you can find out using our free search tool online. All you need is your vehicle registration. If you need to book an MOT inspection, you can do so at one of our test centres throughout the U.K.