18 million drivers now suffer MOT anxiety

  • Getting their car through its annual MOT test causes 58% of drivers to feel stressed.
  • Cost of potential repairs to pass the MOT test causes the most anxiety.
  • High stress levels partly the result of the Covid MOT test extension last year.
  • 10% of drivers who received a Covid test extension now don’t know when their test is due.
  • GoCompare Car Insurance is offering customers an MOT of a tenner, a saving of around £442.
Closeup of unrecognizable male mechanic replacing car tire on front right hand wheel at a workshop. He’s using pneumatic screwdriver while the car is lifted on a car jack. Side view.

Most drivers (58%) get stressed out about putting their car through its MOT, according to new research3.  The cost of potential repairs needed to pass the test cause the most sleepless nights – 22%, while a fifth were concerned about being ripped-off over repairs. 

The research, commissioned by Gocompare Car Insurance, also revealed 13% of drivers can’t remember when their car is due for its MOT.  Worryingly, 10% of those surveyed said that as part of the Government’s lockdown measures last year, they received an automatic six-month MOT extension, and they now don’t know when their next MOT is due.  The automatic six-month MOT extension only applied to MOT tests due between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 – so the extended MOT certificates expired on 31 January 2021. 

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A minority (8%) of drivers surveyed said they were also worried about the COVID risks from taking their car for its next MOT.

Cars more than three years old require an annual MOT test to ensure they are roadworthy, safe to drive and meet environmental standards.  If a car fails its MOT test, it must be repaired to conform to the standards.  Basic checks carried out as part of a MOT, such as checking the screen wash is topped-up, the wiper blades are in good repair, and the depth of tread on tyres are very basic.  The research showed that most drivers will perform some basic checks prior to their MOT to help give their car the best chance of passing first time. 

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However, 27% of drivers surveyed said they don’t do anything to prepare their car for its MOT test.

As part of its series of offers to support customers and help them better protect the things that are important to them, GoCompare customers purchasing car insurance before 15 June 2021 will be eligible to receive an MOT test for £10 voucher – which must be booked by 30 June 2021 – a saving of around £44 off the full price.  The voucher can be used with garages throughout the UK participating in the ‘Who Can Fix My Car’ scheme.

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Lee Griffin, CEO and founder at GoCompare commented, “It’s clear from our research, that many drivers dread taking their car for its MOT test – fearing failure and the costs of any necessary repairs.  A concerning number of drivers couldn’t remember when their car’s MOT was due.  If your car’s MOT has expired, it’s illegal to drive it on the road and you could be prosecuted for doing so.  The only exception allowed would be if you’d already booked an MOT and were driving to the test, which you would have to prove to the police. 

“The penalty for driving a car without a valid MOT is a fine of up to £1,000, if the car is found to have a dangerous fault the penalty rises to £2,500 and three penalty points for ‘using a vehicle in a dangerous condition’.  Drivers caught without an up-to-date MOT also risk invalidating their car insurance.  This could lead to penalties for driving uninsured, leaving the driver liable for any costs if they were involved in an accident and adversely impact the cost of and their ability to buy insurance in the future.”

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Lee Griffin continued, “The good news is that you can easily find out details of your car’s MOT due date and details of its previous MOT online through the Government’s free ‘Get MOT reminder’ service and MOT history site – which may highlight previous ‘advisories’ you’d forgotten about that might now need addressing.  And, of course, our ‘MOT for a tenner’ offer will help qualifying drivers reduce the cost of their car’s MOT test.”

More information on the MOT for £10 offer can be found at: https://www.gocompare.com/motforatenner.

Details of the Government’s MOT reminder service and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/mot-reminder, to check the past results of a car’s MOT test visit https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history .

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