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Is It Illegal To Not Service Your Car? MOT + Legalities

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Without regular servicing, your car may fall into disrepair and be considered not legally road-worthy. But is it illegal to not service your car in general?

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The UK has many laws and regulations that concern the functionality, safety, and road-worthiness of your vehicle. As an example, faulty tyres, broken turn lights, and a poorly maintained engine can all be considered illegal to drive on UK roads.

While servicing is crucial to maintaining your car and ensuring it's legally compliant, is it illegal to not service your car in general? Can you face fines or points on your license if you don't regularly take your vehicle to the garage?

In a technical sense, it's not illegal to avoid servicing your car. However, you may not be able to pass your MOT test if you don't have it regularly serviced. Driving a car that does not have a valid MOT certificate is illegal, and you may not be able to even insure your vehicle without one.

As such, in practice, you need to have your car serviced in order to be compliant with UK law. This may include servicing it regularly to ensure it stays road-worthy and can pass an MOT test on the first try, or having it serviced after a failed MOT test, so you can fix whatever was noted as unacceptable by the tester.

Which is the better choice? Let's take a closer look:

Can I Have An MOT Test Without Servicing?

An MOT test is an annual inspection of your vehicle that is required by law. It follows a strict checklist set out by the DVSA that determines if your vehicle is safe and in roadworthy condition.

Your vehicle may require servicing and repairs in order to pass your MOT. However, the test itself does not include any repairs or replacement parts.

You do not legally have to service your car before the test, but it is recommended. In particular, if your car does not pass the necessary checklist, it may "fail" the test and be required to get servicing before it can be checked again. At this point, you may need to pay the testing fee a second time.

The test ensures the vehicle is safe to drive, but it doesn't mean that the car is running as well as it could be. It's about safety standards, not overall health. Components like brakes, lights, tyres, and seatbelts are covered in the MOT test. However, parts like your engine are not. That's where a service will help.

Can Regular Servicing Make Me Exempt From An MOT Test?

Regular servicing keeps your vehicle in better condition and ensures it can pass an MOT test on the first try. However, getting the car regularly serviced does not make you exempt from an MOT test. The government still needs to check over the vehicle and confirm it meets road-worthy standards, even if your car's log book proves that it's kept in peak condition.

A servicing comes in many forms: interim, full, or manufacturer. In general, it's a vehicle inspection based on guidelines set out by your vehicle manufacturer, rather than the DVSA. It's performed by a garage of your choosing and keeps your car in a reliable, safe, and fully-functioning condition.

Servicing will also check tyres, brakes, seatbelts, and the like. However, it also encapsulates your vehicle's full health, not just the "safety-critical" aspects. As such, it may include the replacement of parts, liquids, and oils to maintain the smooth running of your car, as well as filters and plugs.

Is My Vehicle Roadworthy For The Length Of The MOT Test Certificate?

While the MOT test certificate lasts for 12 months, the tester can only make judgments on the condition of the vehicle on the day it was tested. A great deal can happen to a vehicle in a year, so you can't rely on the certificate to reassure you of the vehicle's condition.

Regular checks and maintenance - such as tyre condition and pressure, topping up oil and fluid levels, and replacing blown bulbs - are essential to keep you safe on the roads.

Should You Get An MOT + Service Package?

If your car is three or more years old, it's legally required to have an in-date MOT certificate. Not only is it against the law to drive a car without an MOT test, but your insurance will also be invalidated. Rather than paying for servicing and your MOT test separately, however, you can use Autofusion to get them in one package.

Autofusion offers MOT testing and servicing across the UK. This not only saves you time, but also money. We offer a discount when you book online for combined services. Here are four advantages to this package:

  • Improved Safety : Regular servicing can highlight out-of-sight issues and provide peace of mind that the vehicle is safe and roadworthy.
  • Vehicle Lifespan : Servicing can prevent blowouts, breakdowns, damaged fuses, and more. Keeping up on your vehicle's maintenance works to improve your car's lifespan.
  • Save Money : The upfront cost of a service may be off-putting, but avoiding it leads to costly and expensive repairs. Additionally, new oil and filters replaced during your service can improve your car's fuel efficiency.
  • Increased Resale Value : An updated log book and strong servicing history can attract more buyers who will be willing to pay a higher price for such a well-maintained vehicle

Book with Autofusion today!