What happens if you drive without tax, insurance or MOT?

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Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

If you want to drive a vehicle in the UK, you require insurance, tax and a yearly MOT. Without it, you are driving on UK roads illegally. It may seem like common sense, yet more than 1 million UK drivers fail to insure their vehicles and 15% of motorists have admitted to driving either their own or someone else’s vehicle without insurance.

Driving without insurance

If you are caught driving without insurance you can face a fixed penalty of £300 and receive a 6-point penalty on your license. Being caught driving a vehicle you are not insured to drive can also land you in court where you could be facing an unlimited fine and a disqualification from driving. Your car may even be seized by police and destroyed.

Driving without Tax

Vehicle tax, or vehicle exercise duty (VED) is required on the majority of vehicles, although there are some exceptions.

Your vehicles tax is checked via automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), which scans your vehicle’s registration and checks it against the DVLA database. If you are found to be driving without tax you will be given an on the spot fine.

You can be exempt if you are driving your car to a prearranged MOT test as long as you are driving directly to the MOT centre without making any stops on the way. There are also certain exemptions for certain electric and historical cars, yet you will still need to apply for vehicle tax, even if you don’t need to pay it.

Driving without an MOT

If you are caught driving without an up to date MOT you may be given a caution from police or you could be given a penalty worth up to £1,000. The fine could be much higher if the car being driven without an MOT is found to be unroadworthy and you could also be landed with points on our license or a driving disqualification.

Without the necessary tax and MOT you may also see your car insurance invalidated. This means that if you are involved in a crash then your insurance wouldn’t cover any costs.

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