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18 million drivers now suffer MOT anxiety1

  • 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.

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. 

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. 

Driver checks carried out to help their car pass its MOT test %
Checking the tyre tread and pressure is correct 43
Ensuring the car is not showing any warning lights on the dashboard. 42
Ensuring all the lights work, replacing light bulbs, as necessary. 42
Checking that the tyre tread and pressure are correct. 41
Making sure the screen wash is topped-up. 40
Ensuring the car’s windscreen is in good condition (no chips or cracks). 39
Clean the car, including windows and mirrors. 36
Ensuring wing mirrors are secure and intact. 35
Ensuring the registration plate is clean. 35

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.

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.”

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 .


For further information please contact:

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

1Department for Transport’s Vehicle Licensing Statistics for Quarter 4 2020 (published December 2020) report that there were 31.869m cars licenced for use on the roads in Great Britain. 58% of drivers are worried about getting their car through its MOT.  58% of 31.869m = 18.484m (rounded down to 18m).

2Participating garages only.  To qualify for the £10 MOT, customers need to complete their booking by 30 June 2021.  The maximum fee MOT test stations can charge for a car is £54.85.

3On 16 April 2021, an online survey of 2,008 randomly selected Great British adults was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.1%. The results have been weighted by age, gender, region and social grade to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.

GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

More information can be found here www.gocompare.com or here https://www.futureplc.com/brands/.