Drivers need to be more ‘in the know’ about their MOTs

MOT checklist

Having been brought up in an environment of ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’, motoring journalist Iain Robertson imparts some of the most recent changes made to the MOT Test and issues a helpful warning…

It is a simple truth that the typical British motorist is hit daily with fines, points and admonishments for breaking the law. Whether it is fair, or not, depends either on which side of the fence you sit, or how severe the impact of a transgression might be.

As a professional motoring writer, I have a duty, as well as a sense of pride, in maintaining a clean, points-free driver’s licence but ringing in my ears is the voice of my driving instructor warning me that the complexity of British motoring law is such that breaking the rules can happen without realising it, most of the time. One such condition is roadworthiness of your vehicle.

If you are fortunate to be able to buy a new car every year, you are unlikely to be ‘troubled’ by the MOT Test. Yet, when a car reaches its third birthday, under the current legal situation, an MOT Test becomes due and is repeated every year thereafter for the life of that vehicle. The test itself is a legal statement about the roadworthiness of that car at that moment in time. Ironically, a car that is not due its MOT Test, perhaps having endured a major road incident, might fail a roadworthiness examination.

Naturally, Mr Clutch Autocentres are equipped to carry out MOT Tests, along with preparation for them, which can include a blend of mechanical repairs, along with aspects as simple as bulb replacements. Yet, it is also worth highlighting that not all are ‘quick fixes’, as Mr Clutch not only has its legal responsibility as a licensed MOT Test Station to adhere to but also has the safety of its customers at heart.

Following many years of potentially crooked MOT certificates wending their ways into the market, a National Database was established by the DVLA, with the primary intention of ferreting out the criminal fraternity but, above all, ensuring that the consumer received a legal, fair, safe and honest standard of service. However, this has led to a more recent issue for those vehicle owners electing to have their cars MOT’d legally within one month of the expiry of the current MOT certificate.

Should a vehicle tested in this way fail to pass the MOT, even though a current MOT might still be valid, the car is declared as non-roadworthy and therefore illegal to drive on public roads. Being stopped by the police, let’s say on the way home from the Test Station, you might still be charged for driving a non-roadworthy vehicle.

Mr Clutch is under no illusion, as MOTs can be checked on-line ( and the information is openly available to police and other authorities. Therefore, it recommends to its customers that all aspects leading to an MOT Test failure be remedied before the vehicle is driven away from the test centre, because in the event of a post-failed Test accident, the liability is the driver’s and, rest assured, the insurance would be declared invalid.

Mr Clutch wishes only to preserve the safety and security of its customers and, should a customer decide regardless to remove a car possessing a failure certificate, its obligations will cease. It is a driver’s responsibility to remain on the right side of the law in respect of a vehicle’s MOT and roadworthy status. While it might be practical to book-in for an early MOT Test and there is no problem in doing so, just be aware that if the vehicle fails the new test it would make the car non-roadworthy. Naturally, Mr Clutch can ensure that your car is maintained regularly, throughout the year and right up to the time you request that it be MOT tested, in such a way that ‘failure’ need never become an issue.