The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has begun testing an MoT reminder service online.

Its research indicated that up to 28 per cent of motorists – including owners of classics – were driving cars around with expired MoT certificates.

Without a valid MoT, renewing road tax is impossible , leaving motorists open to fines. “The vast majority [of cases]…aren’t down to people deliberately not getting an MoT,” explained the DVSA’s head of MoT policy Neil Barlow. “Rather, they just need reminding to get it done.”

The service is currently being tested by developers; the DVSA wants motorists to test the service and suggest improvements.

Signing up with an email address and their car’s registration, owners will get a month’s warning email before the MoT expiry date. Leave it another two weeks without a new MoT and the system will send a final reminder. A text messaging service will be added at a later date.

The service currently works on cars with current MoTs. Plans are afoot to add reminders for cars ready for their first MoT along with taxi owners and operators of heavy goods vehicles.

Last year, the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) and Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) called for an online MoT reminder service to be launched; based on its research, it found that 91 per cent of its member garages were taking in cars for work from their owners unaware the MoT expired. It had noticed a steady increase in expired MoT vehicles appearing in workshops since the discontinuation of the tax disc in October 2014.

With no word on when a verdict on classic MoTs will be delivered, historic vehicle buyers will also be interested to hear about improvements underway on the DVSA’s MoT history checker. Acting on feedback received, the DVSA’s team plan to add garage data to queries. In the future, researching the test history of a car online will also bring up the address of the test station.