Revealed: The biggest MOT myths

New research shows 20 percent of motorists have driven a car without a valid MOT certificate. We reveal the biggest MOT test myths.

MOTs cancelled in Northern Ireland

Three percent of motorists thought a car radio not working would count as an MOT fail. That’s according to the results of a new survey.

Research shows that 7.6 million cars have been driven on the roads without a valid MOT – around 20 percent of the cars on the road. Thirty-one percent of the drivers polled in the Halfords survey were unaware that they could face a fine of up to £1,000 for driving without an MOT.

ALSO SEE: 10 things to check before an MOT test

Meanwhile, 16 percent didn’t know that an expired MOT puts them at risk of invalidating their car insurance.

When asked why they had driven without an MOT, 64 percent of drivers said they had forgotten when the test was due. Two-thirds of drivers (33 percent), believed there’s a grace period for driving without an MOT. There isn’t.

It’s worth remembering that the government runs a free MOT reminder service. You just need the car’s registration number and a phone number or email address. Click here to access the service.

‘An anxious time’

Pre-MOT checks

Aaron Edwards from Halfords Autocentres said: “The MOT test can be an anxious time –  it can be a little bit like waiting for your exam results. When it comes to doing things that may cause stress and cost money, people tend to leave these things to the last minute.”

The biggest MOT myths

Rank Myth Percentage
1. Didn’t realise that running out of water in the screen wash bottle would count as a fail 71 percent
2. Didn’t know that windscreen stickers that obscure the driver’s view would be classed as a fail 60 percent
3. Weren’t aware that having under-inflated tyres would mean a fail 56 percent
4. Thought that window not opening would be a fail, but that isn’t the case 33 percent
5. Didn’t know that driving with damaged windscreen wipers would be a fail 31 percent
6. Thought they could pass their MOT without having a registration plate 25 percent
7. Thought they could pass their test with a missing door mirror 24 percent
8. Thought a radio not working with count as a fail 3 percent


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Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Writer with a penchant for #FrenchTat. Also doing a passable impression of Cousin Eddie in an Italian-German beige motorhome.


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