A third of motorists admit to having driven a car without a valid MOT, according to research conducted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This equates to around 10 million drivers who are using the roads without ensuring that vital safety components are up to scratch.

And it’s not just an occasional memory lapse either, with 67 per cent of those drivers saying they’d driven around for up to a week after their MOT had lapsed, and nearly a quarter doing so for up to a month.

Shockingly, around 200,000 drivers have left it over six months before booking their car in for a re-test.

It is the men who are marginally more likely to drive without a valid MOT, with 35 per cent of blokes holding their hands up, compared to 31 per cent of women.

MOT apathy also varies from region to region. Drivers in the East Midlands are the least like to forget, with 15 per cent of motorists driving without a valid certificate. Those in the South West of England are most likely not to have a current MOT, with a whopping 41 per cent admitting to forgetting.

The figures come as the SMMT launches its new free MOT reminder service. After registering at passmymot.co.uk, drivers will receive automatic notification when their car nears its MOT renewal date.

The Society is also urging motorists to give their cars a quick visual check prior to taking it in for its MOT. Calling it its ‘Minute Or Two’ initiative, the simple inspection of headlights, tyres, windscreen wipers and fluid levels could mean that your car passes first time, rather than needing to be re-tested over easily fixable faults.

Drivers have also been warned that they are risking heavy fines and penalty points by not ensuring their car is covered by an MOT. Aside from a fine of £1,000, there is a risk of the car’s insurance being invalidated if caught on the road, which carries a punishment of six-eight penalty points by itself and will usually mean the car being seized at the roadside by the police.

Do you think an annual MOT requirement is a sensible measure? Do you think it could be relaxed to a bi-annual inspection without compromising road safety? Have your say below.

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