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How do I renew my car tax if my MOT has expired?

How do I renew my car tax if my MOT has expired?

Everybody knows that car tax, an MOT, and insurance are legal requirements for car owners. But, understanding what happens if you forgot to MOT your car or if you can tax a vehicle without an MOT can be pretty confusing. In this article, we will explain what to do if your MOT runs out, explore the insurance implications of your MOT expiring, whether you can tax your car without a valid MOT certificate, and what happens if I get caught without an MOT.

Why do you need a valid MOT?

A valid MOT is needed to ensure that your car meets the minimum safety standards required to make it road-worthy. A valid MOT is required by law for most cars to enable them to have valid insurance and to be able to purchase vehicle tax, but there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you buy a brand new car, in most cases, it will not require an MOT until it is three years old. Some older vehicles are also exempt from needing an annual MOT test. If you have a classic car more than 40 years old, this may not require either an MOT test or car tax. If you have a vehicle approaching 40 years old and are unsure if it will need an MOT test, you can check on the Government website for further details of which historic and classic vehicles are exempt from tax and are not required to have an MOT test.

Do I need to MOT my car before taxing it?

A valid MOT is required to tax your vehicle. When you purchase your vehicle tax online, the system will automatically check that there is a valid MOT for your car before allowing you to purchase your tax. If you prefer to purchase your vehicle tax in person, you may be wondering can I tax my car with an MOT certificate? It is possible to take your MOT certificate and your V11 reminder and tax your vehicle at some Post Offices, but you will require an up-to-date MOT certificate to be able to do this. 

Can I tax my car if the MOT has expired?

If your MOT has expired, you will not be able to tax your car. Having proof of a passed MOT that is in-date is required to purchase vehicle tax regardless of whether you choose to buy it online or in-person at a Post Office. When you receive your V11 vehicle tax reminder through the post, it is helpful to check when your car’s next MOT is due. This will enable you to ensure you have a current MOT when the time comes to renew your vehicle tax.

Is car tax void if there is no MOT?

If your car does not have an MOT, you may be wondering is car tax void if no MOT? A valid MOT is a legal requirement unless your vehicle is exempt and you have a valid Vehicle Tax Exemption. Without a valid MOT or Exemption, it will be impossible for you to purchase vehicle tax when it expires so that means you would be driving without valid car tax. To drive your car, you will require an in-date MOT or Exemption, a minimum of third-party motor insurance cover, and car tax; if you do not have valid proof of each of these, you will be driving illegally.

How much MOT do I need left to tax my car?

Before you tax your car, it is helpful to check that your MOT is valid so you have plenty of time to get an MOT before purchasing vehicle tax if necessary. To tax your car, you will need an MOT that is valid from the start date of your vehicle tax or the date it is issued. If your MOT expires before either of these dates, you will not be able to use it to tax your vehicle. You will then need to arrange an MOT as soon as possible to ensure you can tax your car before the MOT runs out. 

How to check when your MOT is due

Making a note of when your MOT is due is helpful to prevent any delays in obtaining car tax and to ensure you do not run the risk of your tax expiring before you have a valid MOT certificate. There are a couple of methods to find out when your car is due for its next MOT. If you have last year’s MOT certificate, it will provide both the date that your vehicle passed the MOT, as well as the date it is due. If you cannot find your MOT certificate, you can look up your MOT expiry date online. The Government website has a tool that enables you to check the MOT status of a vehicle and when the MOT is due to expire. To use this tool, all that is needed is the vehicle’s registration number. 

If you are concerned about forgetting your MOT expiry date, you can also sign up for MOT reminders on the MOT section of the Government website. This service provides you with free alerts one month before your MOT expires. You can choose to receive MOT reminders by either email or text message.

What happens to your remaining tax if you run out of an MOT?

If your MOT has now run out, you may be concerned about the vehicle tax you have paid for and what happens to the remaining car tax before it expires. Well, if your vehicle has failed the MOT and is not in a road-worthy state, you may choose to get it repaired immediately and get an MOT retest. If your car then passes the MOT and your tax is still valid, you will not need to do anything at all until the time comes to renew them both once again. If you decide not to get the necessary repairs made to your car to pass the MOT test, you will not be able to drive it legally. 

If you plan to keep your car off the road and not have an MOT retest, for the time being, you can declare your vehicle as ‘off the road.’ Declaring your car as ‘off the road’ is sometimes referred to as SORN or Statutory Off Road Notification. You cannot drive your vehicle while it is declared ‘off the road,’ and you will be unable to keep it parked on a public highway as it will not have valid car tax. When you declare your vehicle ‘off the road’, you will be able to claim back a refund for any full months of car tax you have left before it expires. You will not receive a refund for any partial months of vehicle tax that you have left before it runs out.

Is your insurance invalid without MOT?

If your car does not have an MOT, you will not be able to drive it legally. This means that if you do drive your vehicle, your insurance is likely to be invalid. If your vehicle is involved in a collision or other incident and did not have a valid MOT, you will be unlikely to claim your insurance. 

Driving without an MOT is illegal, but you could be breaking the law twice if you do so. As your insurance will be invalidated by the lack of an MOT, you will be driving both without an MOT and insurance. So, this is definitely a situation to avoid.

Can I tax my car while waiting for the logbook?

If you have recently bought a new pre-owned vehicle, you may be wondering how to tax your car while waiting to receive the logbook (known as the V5C). It is still possible to tax your vehicle before you receive the logbook. Instead of using the logbook or V11 reminder letter to tax your vehicle, you can use the green ‘New Keeper’ slip, which you will receive when you purchase the car. 

What to do if your MOT has expired?

If your MOT has expired, you may be concerned about your next steps and what you should do. Booking in for an MOT test as soon as possible is crucial, and in the meantime, you cannot drive the car legally. Driving without an MOT could result in you being prosecuted and issued a penalty notice of up to £1,000. The only time you can drive your vehicle when your MOT has expired is to take it to be repaired or to a pre-booked MOT test.

Book Your MOT Today

At Chippenham Motor Company, we don’t just sell high-quality new cars and used cars; we also offer MOTs and servicing to ensure your car stays running at its best. If your MOT or annual service is due soon, why not get in touch and find out how we can help. Contacting our friendly team is easy; you can call us or use our contact form, and we will get back to you.



July 2020 Update:

The Government's extension of MOTs has now ended. You must now have a valid MOT to tax your vehicle. Book your MOT here.


May 2020 Update:

COVID-19 - MOT Extension and Car Tax information.

At the beginning of lockdown, the DVLA announce a six-month extension for vehicles where the MOT certificate expired on or after 30th March 2020. There was no extension granted to car tax, which means if you still want to drive your car, you will need to renew it when it expires. However, you usually need a valid MOT certificate to tax a vehicle. So what do you do if your MOT is expired?

The MOT of your vehicle will have been automatically extended, but you will still need to update the official records of the car in order to purchase your road tax. To do this, you just need to email covid19mot@dvsa.gov.uk, stating the date the MOT expires and the car registration number. Your vehicle's official records will then be updates and you will be able to tax your car online. It is worth noting that if your MOT expired prior to the 30th March 2020, then is is not valid for an extension. Therefore you will need to get an MOT certificate for your car before you can buy car tax.

If you're not sure whether this applies to you, you can check if your MOT has been extended on the Government website. 

17 May 2020

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