car mot

New research by Direct Line for Business has found that a staggering one in six drivers (17%) have driven their vehicle without a valid MOT for a week at least once in the past five years, which collectively equates to millions of miles being travelled by UK drivers without a valid MOT certificate.

You don’t have to be an expert to know why that’s dangerous - once the MOT expires, then legally speaking, the car cannot be definitely said to still be in a safe and roadworthy condition. When you’re looking at buying a salvage car from our online car auctions with the intention of putting it back on the roads, you’ll have to take its MOT expiry date into account - if it’s got one, that is! If it’s missing one or its current certificate is expiring soon, you’ll have to work out what you’re going to do about it - whether you’re arranging one by a professional mechanic or performing the inspection yourself.

Plenty of drivers, it seems, aren’t quite that diligent. So, exactly how common is this mistake?

Which drivers are most likely to forget their MOT?

You don’t have to have been driving long to know that these days, there are all sorts of systems and mechanisms available to help you remember your MOT. Many drivers opt to have themselves reminded via text or email when the date is approaching. But it seems that sometimes even these reminders can still slip through the cracks.

Direct Line found that of all the drivers who went without a valid MOT for a week, nearly half of them (45%) only drove once before they realised their mistake. However, one in 13 (8% of drivers) drove five or more times before they got the situation sorted. If you think that’s unsettling, you might not be too pleased to hear that one in twelve drivers (around 8%) went without an MOT for as long as six months!

Drivers who went without a valid MOT for a week or more were more likely to be male than female, and there were noticeable demographic trends between drivers in the largest UK cities too. Londoners were amongst the most likely groups to drive without an MOT (representing 32% of those drivers), while another 25% were from the North East, followed by 20% in the North West.

car mot

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 18-34 year olds (27%) were more likely to drive without a valid MOT than people over 35 (9%). There are all sorts of possible reasons to that - and let’s be honest, most people tend to be slightly more scrupulous about paperwork when they’re older.

Do I need an MOT for a Category N or Category S car?

You technically don’t need to get a new MOT to put a Category N or Category S car back on the roads, as long as its current one is still active. (In other words, Category N and Category S cars don’t automatically need a new MOT just because they’re salvage cars.)

However, if its previous MOT has expired in the time that it’s been off the roads, then you’ll need a new one before it can be legally driven again. An MOT is an essential requirement to say that the car is in basic roadworthy condition. Driving without one is illegal, whether the car in question is new or used, seized or salvage.

On a related note, we should say that if you’ve bought a Category S car with the intention of driving it again, it’s generally recommended that you submit it for another MOT before getting back behind the wheel, just in case the damage results in any serious issues that could make it dangerous to drive.

With all that in mind, it’s always worth considering a salvage car’s MOT status if you’re buying it with the ultimate intention of putting it back on the roads. Of course, if you’re only planning on taking it apart for spares, you won’t need to consider that at all. Whatever your own reasons for buying a salvage car, rest assured that you’re in exactly the right place.

We’ve got plenty to choose from in our own online car auctions right here at RAW2K. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always new deals to be had, and we’ve got vehicles from a range of leading manufacturers including VolkswagenCitroen and Vauxhall. Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?