A third of motorists have admitted driving without a valid MOT certificate, raising their risk of causing a road accident, a survey shows.
Some have even been driving illegally for as long as six months, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Men are more likely than women to drive without an MOT, while the worst offenders appear to be in the South West of England.
SMMT interim chief executive Mike Baunton said: “Each year, a significant proportion of motorists forget their car’s MOT, risking safety, fines and penalty points.
“Manufacturer main dealers are the best place to go to be sure of the most highly-trained technicians, using the parts manufacturers recommend along with the best diagnostic equipment.”
A third of the 1,000 drivers questioned had driven without an MOT, with 67% of these admitting to driving without a certificate for up to a week. A total of 24% had driven without an MOT for up to a month, 7% for up to six months and 2% for more than six months.
Drivers in the East Midlands are the best at ensuring their cars have an MOT test on time, with only 14.6% admitting to driving without a certificate, whereas 40.5% of drivers in the South West have driven without an MOT.
Younger motorists are worst at remembering the test date, with 39% of drivers aged 18-24 saying they had continued to drive after their MOT had expired. The most diligent motorists are 45 to 54-year-olds, with only 28% driving after their due date.
Road accident risk
The SMMT survey was carried out in partnership with car manufacturers and their dealer networks throughout the UK.
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, said: “For the motorist, a visit to their local franchised dealer will ensure the highest standard of customer care, in-depth training and knowledge of the vehicle and that their car meets all safety and legal requirements.”