The number of cars without MOTs on UK roads is set to hit all-time high, according to new research.
any motorists say they cannot afford to pay for an MOT, with experts saying it could result in 400,000 more unsafe vehicles on our roads.
One in six drivers (17%) who have an MOT due this month say they already know they will be unable to afford it, with 71% of these saying they will break the law and continue driving their vehicle anyway.
They risk fines of up to £2,500 and three points on their licence.
Research conducted by Halfords shows those aged 18 to 24 are most likely to not be able to afford their MOT (22%) whilst also being most likely to drive their vehicle anyway (84%.)
One in six people say they cannot afford to pay for their MOT this month
DVSA data shows the current MOT failure rate stands at 28.5%.
March is typically the busiest month for MOTs, with at least 115,000 potentially dangerous vehicles on our roads which would typically have failed the test.
The new research demonstrates how the cost of living crisis is forcing many motorists to divert funds elsewhere.
A rocky road: the stats behind the number of vehicles without MOTs
- 17% of drivers who have their MOT this month say they cannot afford it.
- 23% of motorists who plan to avoid an MOT said they have failed to be charged in the past
- 26% said they drive their children to school in a vehicle without an MOT
- 16% of those who want to avoid an MOT say they will not pay car tax or insurance
Of those unable to afford their next MOT, 66% say they simply do not have enough money and will have to spend funds elsewhere.
Meanwhile, a quarter of those who plan to avoid their MOT entirely (23%) said they previously got away without having one.
Nearly half of those who plan to continue driving regardless (47%) say it is so they can get to work – which does not pay enough to afford the test.
34% of those surveyed say they need their car to actually do their job, with 26% stating they will drive their children to school in a vehicle without an MOT.
Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton said: ‘The data shows that March is set to be the worst month we have ever seen when it comes to cars on our roads without an MOT, according to Solent News & Agency.
‘MOTs are vital, annual safety checks that take place on vehicles that are three years old or more, it’s not about ticking boxes, MOTs check things such as if there is enough tread on tyres, or if brakes are working correctly.
‘The fact that so many could be driving their kids to school in vehicles without an MOT is a genuine worry.’
400,000 additional cars without an MOT could be on UK roads this month
Antony Kildare, CEO of IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s leading road safety charity said: ‘Households up and down the country are being forced to cut back on everyday outgoings to balance the books.
‘But with the latest figures showing 27,450 people were killed or seriously injured on UK roads, it’s extremely worrying to learn that such a large proportion of motorists are opting not to have their annual MOT.’
The misconception about a 14 day ‘grace period’ after an MOT expires is believed by many, the research shows.
One in three (31%) believe this to be the case, rising to 45% among those aged 18 to 24, even though it is illegal to drive a car without an MOT unless you can prove you are driving to a test centre.
A valid MOT is required to renew car tax and insurance, but some motorists say they will still try to find a way around it.
More than half (57%) of those who plan to continue driving regardless say they will insure and tax their vehicle before the current MOT runs out.
Current regulations allow drivers to renew their car tax two months before it expires and re-insure it up to one month before, which gives those who wish to avoid their MOT a clear window.
Many appear to be prioritising their insurance and tax over MOTs because they are less likely to be caught.
Just 16% of those who plan not to bother with an MOT say they will also avoid paying car tax and insurance.
Among motorists who would skip the test over their tax or insurance, 50% say it is because they are less likely to get caught, and 36% believe the consequences for skipping an MOT are less severe than skipping tax or insurance.