With the cost of living crisis continuing to bite, four in ten British motorists (38%) say they have concerns about, or definitely won’t be able to, afford their next MOT, with a further 17% saying they’re not sure if they will be able to or not. Amongst these, 45% say that if they can’t afford an MOT, they plan to keep driving their car regardless.
In a poll of 2,132 motorists, 17% of drivers – equating to millions of motorists – admit they have driven a car without a valid MOT certificate in the past 12 months. A further fifth (21%) say that they know someone else who has, sparking concerns about the number of unsafe vehicles on UK roads.
The survey, commissioned by Halfords and conducted by Mortar Research also highlighted a growing issue – that of ‘working poverty’, with nine in 10 in this situation saying their job would be impossible or much harder without a car. However, affording their vehicle is being made harder due to rising motoring costs, alongside other rising bills such as food, electricity and mortgages.
Amongst those who are unsure if they will be able to afford an MOT this year, one in ten say they will simply keep driving until they are caught, whilst 16% say they will keep driving their car without an MOT until it needs to be re-insured (at which point, proof of an MOT is required). One in five say they will try to use their car less, but will still use it if they need to.
The big-box retailer and autocentre has warning Brits to ensure they prioritise their MOT in their budgeting, as driving without one is illegal, and will also, in most instances, invalidate insurance. It has also announced a plan in conjunction with charity Family Action to give free MOT tests to those most in need.
Chris Lunn, Head of Category at Halfords Autocentres, said: “The findings raise serious concerns about the ability of Brits to afford key, safety-related, motoring expenses like MOTs, as well as the potential dangers this could lead to in the form of millions of cars on our roads without an MOT certificate. MOTs are a vital and legally-required check-up on any vehicle over three years old, to ensure it is roadworthy. Put simply, driving without one is both illegal, and can invalidate insurance.
“Those who are struggling to make ends meet are most likely to not be able to afford their MOT – but for this group, it could lead to a dangerous cycle of poverty. Amongst them, more than nine in ten say that not having a car would make their job impossible or significantly harder. Not having an MOT puts them at risk of losing their car, and therefore their job, making their financial situation far worse. That’s why we’re trying to help by offering 1000 free MOTs to families who rely on their car but are struggling financially, and discounted MOTs for all Brits to help keep motoring affordable.”