Can I drive my car without an MOT certificate to the scrapyard?

inspection for MOT certificate

To put it simply, no. Here’s why… An MOT, which is an acronym for Ministry of Transport, certificate is proof your car is roadworthy and makes sure the car meets all road safety and environmental standards. For that reason, it is illegal to drive your car without an MOT certificate. Additionally, without a valid MOT all car insurance policies are invalid.

New cars are exempt from needing an MOT for the first three years. After this period, your car requires a valid MOT certificate from a recognised testing station or garage (see List of authorised MOT centers), and you must renew your MOT certification annually.

Can I drive my car to a scrapyard if I don’t have an MOT certificate?

No. It’s illegal to drive anywhere without a valid MOT certificate. You might even be putting yourself at greater risk as you are going to scrap your vehicle, which is probably particularly unsafe.

There are only a few exceptions for driving without an MOT certificate:

  • You’re driving to an authorised test center for a pre-arrange MOT test (e.g. a re-take)
  • You’re taking your car to a garage for repairs, which also needs to be pre-arranged.

Even in these circumstances, there are strict regulations. For example, your car needs to be roadworthy, and you need a special insurance cover. Your insurers need to provide a temporary one-day cover, as your normal insurance policy will be invalid without an MOT.

That being said, if you are stopped and the car is still deemed to be dangerous you will still be fined.

If get my new MOT certification earlier than the expiration date, am I still covered?

Some drivers take their MOT test earlier than the expiration date. For example, your original MOT certificate is valid from February 2000 to February 2001, but you choose to get your MOT renewed in January 2001.

If I take my car fails its MOT test in January 2001, am I allowed to drive it to be scrapped in January as the original MOT expire in February?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Once you have a new MOT certificate the most recent one overrides all others.

What happens if I’m caught driving without a valid MOT certificate?

Driving without a valid MOT certificate can result in heavy fines rereachching£1000 and can even go £2,500 and three points off your license if the car is deemed ‘very dangerous’. In the most extreme case, you will be prohibited from driving.a

Be careful – don’t think you can get away with it just this once. Police have Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras that flag cars without valid MOT certificates.

When the garage carries out your MOT test, they have to file the results in a database of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. This information is available with anyone who has your license plate. So, anyone can report your car if they suspect your car not to have a valid MOT certificate.

If I don’t have a valid MOT, how do I get my car to the scrapyard?

Car Busters provides free collection when you scrap your car. All you have to do is enter your license plate and registration number into our Scrap Quote Generator. Find out what you can get for your car now!