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Can I tax my car without an MOT?

11th February 2022

The answer is no – you cannot tax your car without an MOT. Driving without an MOT certificate is against the law and is likely to invalidate your insurance policy. 

Why do I need an MOT certificate to tax my car?

Contrary to popular belief, your vehicle tax is not used for road maintenance – instead, it is known as an ‘excise duty’. This is essentially a tax on services that damage the environment or consumer health. The MOT certificate also considers the environmental impact your car has on the atmosphere, which is factored into the overall tax amount you will pay. 

The law states that you must have an MOT conducted on your vehicle every year at a certified garage to ensure your car fits the legal driving standards. If your vehicle fails to match the official requirements, you must get it repaired before getting back on the road. If your car fails its MOT, you can reclaim unused road tax. Generally, you will still have to pay tax in the months when your certificate was valid – but not any time after that. 

Will I get an MOT extension because of the pandemic?

Initially, the government allowed a six-month extension at the very beginning of the pandemic. However, these extensions ran out on the 1st of August 2020 – and there have not been any more since. Ideally, you should get your car booked in for its MOT as early as possible, as there has been a backlog of customers waiting for garage services due to the pandemic.

Do I need a valid MOT certificate to renew my insurance?

This depends on your insurance policy – many insurance policies will become invalid if you drive without an MOT, which means you are breaking the law twice. Many insurance policies also won’t allow you to claim if the MOT is expired. In some policies, not having an MOT at the time of your claim does not bear effect on your policy. Instead, it will be up to the insurer to conduct their investigations and decide whether to accept your claim.

If your car is due its MOT, pop into a local garage, or contact our helpful team for more information.