Around 3.8 million motorists – equivalent to one in ten UK drivers – have been driving without an MoT over the past year, despite Lockdown restrictions.
Nearly two thirds were aware their MoT had expired but drove anyway, while the rest only realised this later.
But the distance travelled was concerning, with nearly half driving between 100 to 200 miles, and 17 per cent did so for at least a week.
The findings are particularly concerning for the UK’s 4,527,724 van drivers. Department for Transport statistics show that the average age of these vehicles has been creeping upwards for some time.
It was only 6.6 years in 2006, but now stands at 8.3 with nearly one in five vans more than 13 years old, while 31 per cent are between 6 and 13 years of age.
The reasons, according to Direct Line business insurance, which commissioned the research, ranged from simple confusion to financial concerns – 29 per cent were worried about the repair costs, while a quarter were unsure about the terms of the government’s MoT extension, introduced after the first Lockdown.
Some simply thought they’d get away with it. One in five thought the police would be busy with other things and unlikely to stop them, while the same proportion thought they were unlikely to be stopped because their vehicle was in a good condition.
Jonny McHugh, Van Business Manager at Direct Line, said: “With the average age of vans creeping upwards, it’s really important that drivers of these vehicles fulfil the legal requirement to protect themselves and other road users.
“To help them do this, and lessen the financial burden during this tough period, we are offering our new customers a free MOT voucher when they take out van insurance with us.
“It’s really important that drivers are aware of the serious consequences of driving without an MOT and that they set themselves a reminder when their MoT is up for renewal. You can sign up for free text and email reminders.”
More on Direct Line here