ALMOST 2million motorists could be driving without a valid MOT, putting them at risk of being slapped with a £1,000 fine.

New research estimates 1.86million cars may be falling foul of the law now that a coronavirus extension has ended.

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Driving with an out of date MOT is illegal and can have severe consequences for vehicle owners, such as a fine or prosecution for driving an unroadworthy car.

Motorists were handed a six-month extension for MOTs that needed to be renewed between March 30, 2020, and July 31, 2020.

For those that took advantage of it in its final days, the extension expired in February – but it's believed one in five vehicles still haven't been tested.

Data from car servicing and maintenance firm Kwik Fit reckons around 600,000 cars aren't currently roadworthy.

How to check if you risk a £1,000 fine

IF you don't know the expiry date of your MOT, you can check it using the government MOT service tool.

You need the vehicle's registration number, and it'll then tell you how long your MOT is valid for.

The tool will also let you sign up to free MOT reminders by email or text, which can be useful if you tend to forget.

If you think the MOT expiry date is wrong, you should contact the DVSA.

You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.

So if, for example, your MOT runs out on May 5, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is May 6.

MOT approved test centres do the safety checks – the maximum fee for a car is £54.85, while it's £29.65 for a standard motorcycle.

Of course, be aware that you may have to pay extra if your vehicle ends up needing work done.

Meanwhile, the 1.86million vehicles without a valid MOT are currently overdue by 3.4 months on average.

If you don't know the status of your MOT, we explain how to check above in order to avoid a £1,000 fine.

If you are caught driving an unsafe vehicle, even if your MOT is still valid, you can be fined up to £2,500.

If you can't take your vehicle for its MOT and your vehicle tax is due to run out, you can register it as off the road (SORN) on the GOV.UK website.

Eric Smith, MOT scheme manager at Kwik Fit, said: "It may be that shifting the expiry dates with the extension has caused the MOT to slip from drivers’ minds, or perhaps they have been using their car so little that they have forgotten about having it tested.

"Some owners may think that because they’ve not been using their car it will be just as they left it, however parts will rust or wear with little use, bulbs may fail or windscreen wipers start to perish.

"We would urge drivers to make sure they are both safe and legal before heading out on to the road as restrictions ease."

A number of changes came into force for drivers from April as the new tax year began.

Martin Lewis has also warned drivers to urgently check if their photo licence needs renewing or risk a £1,000 fine.

Plus, be aware of the MOT loophole that can get you a £2,500 fine, three penalty points and even a driving ban under tough regulations.

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