Why forgetfulness might cost you your car

Carlton Boyce / 11 August 2016

Paying for your car’s road tax by monthly direct debit might be a convenient way to spread the cost, but it could cost you a hefty fine – or your car.

Forgetting your MOT

Research by cap hpi reveals that 70% of motorists are confused as to when their car’s MOT is due, following changes to the system for taxing your car.

The problem is that many motorists used to synchronise their car’s road tax, car insurance renewal, and MOT to coincide – but many are simply forgetting to MOT their car now they no longer have the annual road tax reminder to prompt them to get it done.

Philip Nothard, consumer and retail editor for cap hpi said: “Our research proves that without the tax disk as a reminder, it’s easy for motorists to let the MOT renewal date slip, posing a danger to themselves and other road users.”

Avoid getting ripped off by a garage

The solution

The solutions are many and varied and depend on your willingness to embrace technology. Here are my four favourite ways to make sure that you never forget!


Synchronise your car’s MOT, road tax and insurance as before. It might seem like a bit of a waste to get an MOT on your car before it’s due, but having all three timed to coincide will give you prompts from both your local garage and car insurer to help you to remember to get them all sorted.

Set your own reminders

If you don’t want to rely on other people, you can also set reminders on your computer’s calendar for all three events.

The car insurance and tax reminders are simple but I set the one for the MOT to alert me six weeks before it expires. This gives me two weeks to get it booked in; if it passes I then have a 13-month MOT certificate (the maximum possible) and if it fails I’ve built in a month’s grace to get the necessary repairs done.

6 ways to beat MOT stress

Accept help from the government

The government also has a free online MOT reminder service. The service, called When is my MOT due? is available as a website or an iOS app. It can be used to set up a reminder, find a local MOT station, or even to run an MOT check on a car you are thinking of buying.

Go online

Finally, you could do what I’ve done and use an online service like Patina. I’ve set my car’s tax, insurance and MOT dates in there and receive automatic reminders from them. Doing this gives me a safety net in addition to the other methods and I haven’t forgotten to do them – yet!

For more tips and useful information, browse our motoring articles 

Your Saga Car Insurance has a wide range of features and benefits included as standard, and to make sure you're never unprotected, we can set your cover to automatically renew each year. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.