Annual MOT checks are vital for maintaining the condition of your car and for keeping the UK’s roads safe.

The MOT check is just one of a number of regular costs that come with owning a car, but foregoing the MOT, or forgetting about it could prove even more costly.

What is the punishment for driving without an MOT?

Driving without a valid MOT certificate it can carry fines of up to £1,000, as well as resulting in points on your driving licence.

In severe cases it can even end in you being disqualified from driving.

Experts at KwikFit explained: “Recent modernisation of the DVSA system for testing MOT has equipped the police and camera units with the capability to detect if a vehicle has an invalid MOT.

“If your car is involved in a traffic accident, you’ll be asked to produce an up-to-date MOT certificate. If you don’t possess one, any insurance claims that need to be made could well be affected. This is usually the case if the incident resulted in physical injury.

“It’s a wise idea to keep your MOT valid to avoid these needless situations”.

DVSA MOT reminder service

The DVSA MOT reminder service, which launched in 2017, sends prompts to drivers one month before their MOT is due, reminding them to take their vehicle for a test on time.

In new changes to the DVSA MOT reminder service, which launched this week, drivers will no longer get unnecessary reminders for vehicles they no longer own. Instead, we’ll prompt them to update their reminder to their new vehicle.

The DVSA will also automatically unsubscribe a vehicle if the owner has notified DVLA that is has been scrapped.

The DVSA says the changes will improve the experience for drivers signed up to the service, as well as keeping vehicles on the roads safe to drive.

How you can avoid MOT fines

Find out when your MOT is due

As soon as your car hits three years-old, it will need an MOT before its birthday each year.

You can easily check when your MOT is due using your number plate on GOV.UK.

You can undertake your MOT test up to a month (minus a day) before its expiry date while still preserving its annual due date.

Set up a reminder

Simply set a reminder on your email calendar - or in Great Britain, you can sign up online to get a free text or email reminder one month before your vehicle’s MOT is due.

In Northern Ireland you’ll get a letter in the post seven weeks before your MOT is due.

Create a car contingency account

Cars are expensive – there’s no denying that – and MOTs can throw up unexpected repair costs in order to pass.

It’s a good idea to set up a car contingency savings account; putting aside a little each month to spread the costs and make sure you can afford any unexpected nasty surprises.

Shop around for your MOT

Just as you should shop around for a cheaper premium on your car insurance, you can also compare prices for your MOT.

The maximum price of an MOT is £54.85 for a car and £29.65 for a standard motorcycle.

But many garages will offer it cheaper than this – especially if bought in conjunction with your regular servicing.