There are many laws to follow when owning a car to ensure it’s safe and that other road user are protected. According to the NimbleFins car insurance guide, tax and MOT are critical to have in place, or a motorist could be driving illegally. While many people are aware of their car insurance renewal because of their monthly payments, below, we’ll discuss how to check the tax and MOT status of a car.
How To Check If A Car Is Taxed
According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) anyone who owns a car will need to ensure that it is adequately taxed. Previously a paper tax disc was required to be on display in the car, and this would be a reminder to the owner to ensure the car was taxed and taxed on time.
Checking if a car is taxed is quick and easy. Both the government and the DVLA have systems to check a car’s tax status online. For example, with the registration number of the car, it’s possible to log into the government’s vehicle tax checker website; type in the car registration number, and find out if a car is taxed.
It’s possible to use the same website to check if a car has a valid MOT certificate.
The DVLA has a dedicated checking system for car tax. It is slightly more comprehensive than the government website and will provide some additional details about a car, including the following:
- The MOT expiry date
- The date of the logbook issue
- Vehicle tax rate
- Tax expiry date
- Date of manufacture of the car
- Engine size and weight
- Emissions and fuel type
Can I Tax My Car Without MOT?
If a car owner fails to tax their car at the right time they could face a hefty fine of up to £1,000. Also, be aware of exactly when the MOT is due. With this information to hand, a motorist can ensure that their car is booked in for an MOT check before the expiry date.
The MOT checks a car to ensure that it meets all the road safety standards. An MOT lasts for one year, and the MOT certificate shows the date of expiry clearly on the front.
Can I Drive My Car Without MOT?
A valid MOT certificate is needed before a car is taxed. Without a valid certificate, a car owner cannot tax their car. In addition, a car driving without a valid MOT certificate is considered illegal, and the motorist could face a large fine and also invalidate the car insurance.
It is permitted to drive to an MOT check without car tax in place if the MOT appointment is pre-booked, but avoid this where possible.
Although the motorist can be fined up to £1,000 for driving without an MOT, there are some specific circumstances in which a motorist can drive without an MOT. These are:
- When driving a car to a pre-arranged MOT test that has already been booked
- When driving a car to a garage for the car to be repaired
When Is My Car MOT Due
To check when an MOT is due:
- check the MOT certificate for the expiry date; or
- ring the garage who completed the previous MOT and ask them to confirm the expiry date; or
- check the government website
It’s possible to arrange for an MOT certificate to be renewed up to one month (less a day) before it expires, keeping the same renewal date. So, for example, if an MOT expires on the 10th of August, the earliest it can be renewed is the 11th of July.
When Does A New Car Need An MOT?
When buying a new car, the first MOT is performed after 3 years. Although there is no legal obligation to get the MOT done within the first 3 years, some people like to get the MOT done annually just to check the car’s roadworthiness.
Check the date a car was registered to work out exactly when the first MOT is due. An alternative way of finding out when a new car’s MOT is due is to check the V5C form relating to the car – also known as the car logbook. The logbook should include the car’s registration date, which is used to ascertain when the MOT is due.
With the first MOT being three years away for new cars, it is always a good idea to make a note of the date the MOT is due, so it’s not forgotten.
How To Prepare Your Car For An MOT
There are some steps to take as the car owner to make sure a car passes its MOT:
- Check the bodywork for damage
- Check the wipers and windshield are in working order
- Check the tyres are not deflated or wearing out
- Check all the lights
- Clean the car
- Check the exhaust to make sure it works
- Check the steering and brakes
- Check to see if the bonnet and boot open and close properly
- Check all the lights, including sidelights, headlights, and beams