Money Expert > Can You Insure a Car Without an MOT?

Can You Insure a Car Without an MOT?

Last updated: 21/09/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

Having both car insurance and a valid MOT are legal requirements for all drivers. Failing to insure your car or renew your MOT can result in hefty fines as well as penalty points on your license. But is it possible to have one without the other? In this guide, we’ll explore all the ways that an MOT can impact your car insurance and why it’s so important to keep on top of its expiry date.

In This Guide:

Can I Insure My Car Without an MOT?

It is possible to insure your car without an MOT, but it may not be easy.

Most car insurance providers require you to have a valid MOT certificate before taking out a policy. This means that it can be very difficult to find car insurance without an MOT and, even if you do manage to secure a policy, you may end up paying higher premiums.

However, there are some instances when you may be able to get car insurance without an MOT - and it all comes down to the roadworthiness of your car.

What is Roadworthiness and How Does it Affect Car Insurance?

The roadworthiness of your car determines whether or not it can be driven safely. An MOT test is designed to make sure that cars are roadworthy, which is why car insurance providers often require a certificate to prove that your car is in good condition and poses no risk to yourself or other road users.

However, some car insurance policies will still be valid without an MOT as long as your car is still roadworthy. This means that your car needs to be in good enough condition to pass its MOT, even though your certificate has expired. If your car has failed its MOT and is classed as too dangerous to drive, this would not apply because your car would be considered unroadworthy.

You need to check your insurance policy documents carefully before assuming your car will be insured without its MOT. As mentioned before, many insurance policies will require an up-to-date MOT certificate which would make the roadworthiness of your car irrelevant.

Can I Drive to My MOT Test Without Car Insurance?

No, it’s illegal to drive your car anywhere without valid insurance. While it is possible to drive to a pre-booked MOT test after your MOT expiry date without breaking the law, you must have car insurance to do so. If you’re caught driving without insurance, you could face a fine and penalty points, but your car could also be seized and you may be banned from driving for a set period of time.

The only time it may be acceptable to drive your uninsured car to an MOT is when it’s registered as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). A SORN car is one that isn’t being driven and is stored on private property, which exempts you from needing car insurance and car tax. In many instances, you will be able to drive your SORN car to its MOT without valid car insurance, but it’s always best to check before doing so to avoid unexpected fines.

If your car isn’t SORN and your MOT expires, you have a few different options.

  • Contact your current insurance provider: If your existing car insurance policy hasn’t expired, speaking to your provider should be your first course of action. Your policy may still be valid, but even if it’s not, you may be able to switch policies temporarily to help you get to your MOT.
  • Take out a full car insurance policy: If your car insurance has expired, you can look for a new policy that will cover you without a valid MOT. However, this could be risky if your car fails its MOT and you decide to get a new one instead of paying for repairs.
  • Take out temporary car insurance: Temporary car insurance can cover you for short periods of time, with some of them lasting just one day. These policies can be a great option for drivers who aren’t sure what kind of insurance they want yet or what will happen to their car. However, even temporary car insurance policies typically require your car to be roadworthy to be valid.
  • Arrange for collection: If you’re not confident in your car’s roadworthiness, the safest option may be to arrange for it to be collected and taken to its MOT test.

What Happens if I’m Caught Driving Without a Valid MOT?

Unless you’re driving directly to a pre-booked MOT appointment, you will be breaking the law by driving without an MOT, regardless of your car’s roadworthiness. The penalty for driving without an MOT is a fine of up to £1000, but driving with a failed MOT that labels your car as having major problems could mean you end up paying up to £2,500 as well as getting points on your license.

While it might seem unlikely that you’ll be stopped by the police if you’ve never been stopped before, being caught is more likely than you think. Thanks to automatic number plate recognition technology, police cameras by the road could alert officers that your MOT certificate has expired, prompting them to stop you.

Can I Make a Car Insurance Claim Without an MOT?

Depending on the terms of your policy, you may be able to make a car insurance claim without an MOT. Policies that are still valid without an MOT should still accept claims, but the process may be longer than normal, as your insurer will have to go to extra lengths to make sure your car was roadworthy at the time of your claim. What’s more, if your car is stolen when it doesn’t have an MOT, you’ll probably receive a smaller payout, as vehicles without MOTs are worth less.

If your insurance isn’t valid without an MOT, your insurer almost definitely won’t accept your claims. This means that you would have to cover all the costs of an accident, to both your own vehicle and any other cars if the collision was your fault. You may also be fined by the police for not having insurance or an MOT if they get involved.

How Can I Check if My MOT is Still Valid?

It’s easy to check whether your car still has an MOT online. has a record of every car’s MOT status, all you need is your vehicle registration number to get started. You also have the option of asking your MOT test centre when your last MOT was and when your next test is due. Some garages will also be happy to send you a reminder letter or give you a call when the due date is approaching.

Does My Car Always Need an MOT?

In most cases, yes – but there are some instances where a car doesn’t need an MOT.

  • Driving to your pre-booked MOT appointment: Remember, you can’t make any detours along the way and need to have proof that your test is already booked in case you’re stopped. If your car fails its MOT and is considered dangerous by your garage, then you won’t be able to drive it home, so you may need to make other travel arrangements.
  • Your car is under three years old: New cars usually don’t need an MOT until they’re at least three years old. If you know your car has never had an MOT and it’s only a year or two old, chances are you won’t need an MOT. However, it’s always best to check as there are some exceptions depending on the model of car you have.
  • Your car is SORN: SORN cars don’t need an MOT because they’re not being driven and are kept on private property. However, if you decide to drive your car and remove its SORN status, you will need to get an MOT.

Can You Tax a Car Without MOT?

Typically, it’s not possible to tax a car without a valid MOT certificate. Much like with insurance, you’ll need to prove your car is in good working order before taxing it. However, because car tax is usually renewed annually, it won’t become invalid halfway through the year in the same way insurance might if your MOT expires. You just need to make sure your MOT is valid when you’re renewing your car tax and then you should be covered for the year.

Car Insurance and Your MOT: Finding the Right Policy

It’s much easier to take out car insurance with a valid MOT certificate, but if you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’re in between tests, it’s still possible to find a policy to help you bridge the gap. The best way to find out what type of car insurance will best suit your needs is by comparing policies to understand what’s on offer. Here at Money Expert, we can support you in finding a quote that works for your current situation.

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