10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore the MOT Test

The auto mechanic checks the car engine with the check written in the car service engine repair checklist notebook.

As a vehicle owner, the option of ignoring the MOT test advisory letters or ‘end of MOT warnings’ that you receive in the post is always going to be an appealing one – especially if your car has passed its MOT.

However, taking this decision is not without any risks and could actually invalidate your insurance, leaving you very exposed financially…so don’t do it! Here are ten reasons why:

Your liability for Third Party Fire & Theft insurance will cease from the date on which your most recent MOT expired. If you continue to drive after that date and then have an accident, this could leave you liable and open to prosecution by the police. You should also bear in mind that some insurers won’t insure cars that have had more than one failed MOT within a year or have been issued with two or more advisory notices.

The police can give fixed penalty points on your license for driver error, such as forgetting to check the oil level from time to time – but they cannot do this for advisory notices on your MOT certificate. So if you receive a notification advising that a bulb is blown and/or a windscreen wiper blade missing, don’t expect any leeway from the law…

If you drive a hire car after its first month of hire, even without an MOT Martin certificate, you will be considered the ‘registered keeper’. You will be liable for any non-endorsement penalties that may result from failures discovered during an MOT test.

If you are the registered keeper of a vehicle that has been sold but not yet transferred into your name, be aware that the seller is legally responsible for ensuring that any advisory notices are addressed before it leaves their possession. You will become liable if they fail to do this and an accident occurs while it’s still in your possession.

Many insurance companies also advise against ignoring advisories as this could invalidate your cover…so don’t take the risk.

Much more importantly – last year, 8 people were killed and 199 seriously injured on Britain’s roads due to defective tyres alone according to Department for Transport statistics. Failure to check your tyre pressures at least once a month can lead to this risk.

An advisory notice requires that the item be ‘serviceable’ when rechecked at the next MOT test. If you don’t address it then, your warranty could also become void if there’s a subsequent claim involving the failure of that component…even though it is now working correctly! So, don’t take any chances with advisories – act on them as soon as possible.

Suppose you ignore an advisory notice which turns out to be severe or causes or contributes to a road traffic accident once your car has been put back on the road. In that case, you are very likely to be held liable for the damage caused by the incident and/or prosecution by injured parties themselves…and this can also include their legal fees.

If you are involved in an accident down the line, and it can be proved that your car was not roadworthy at the time of the MOT, then you may have broken Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 – even if you were unaware that this situation existed when you bought it. This could result in a ban from driving for some time, a heavy fine, or a prison sentence depending on the severity of any injuries caused by the defective vehicle.

Of course, there’s also another significant risk to ignore – THE COST! As well as being potentially liable for any costs arising from claims made against you, ignoring advisories is likely to invalidate your insurance which means paying much out in premiums if and when you finally go to insure your car again.

Don’t forget that the  MOT Scopwick test is a legal requirement for all vehicles, as determined by The Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971. It’s been this way since 1st October 1960. If you have just bought a used vehicle from someone else, they are obligated under law to ensure any advisory notices on the certificate have been addressed first. Otherwise, you will still be liable until they have done so or somebody else has taken ownership of it.

Exceeding the speed limit doesn’t technically count as an ‘advisory notice’. Still, it can result in penalty points being issued by police who have defected to you – depending on how much over the limit you were going, no doubt!

So, even though you may have bought a car that’s been given an ‘advisory’ or just had one for a routine check, don’t think it is safe to ignore. If you do, you might be putting yourself at more risk than just driving an old clunker – and not only your wallet!

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