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Test driving a vehicle without an MOT


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Hi all,

We are looking at buying a car from a car dealer that currently doesn't have an MOT or tax. MOT ran out whilst sitting on the forecourt in October. We are really interested in the vehicle and after a successful test drive there's a 95% chance we'd buy but as I understand it without an MOT this isn't legal. Is this correct? If her were to say that it is ok and we get pulled over would he be liable or us (As the driver)?


The dealer has said that he will put a new MOT on the car after we buy but that isn't really a help, plus any work that would need doing, should it fail, would surely then be down to us after signing the log book.


Personally, I don't know why they wouldn't just test the car as it would surely make it easier to sell?


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi and welcome to CAG.


Unless the rules have changed, the car can be driven for 'trade activities' with no tax/MOT providing it is on trade plates and an employee of the dealer is in the vehicle. Obviously the car needs suitable insurance cover also but your own policy may cover you on a third party basis.


Please Note



The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.



I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.



Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.


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Sandman, the reason that dealers don't tax/mot a car until it is sold is simply that they don't want a car sitting there for weeks or months as the new mot/tax erodes away. It is indeed easier for them to sell with 12months MOT, so that's why they wait for a purchaser to buy the car. When you buy a car i presume want it to be freshly MOT'd as this would eradicate some faults caused by lengthy storage.

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