The MOT test changed in May 2018, with tighter rules around emissions and safety as well as higher fines for drivers caught with an unroadworthy vehicle.
A freedom of information request revealed 68,027 have been issued with penalty charges across England and Wales by police since the changes.
The Met Police force caught the most drivers (15,772), followed by West Yorkshire (6,019), Merseyside (5,461), Lancashire (4,520) and Essex (4,299).
A typical fine for driving without an MOT is £100, but this can rise to £1,000 if it goes to court – so the treasury is thought to have netted a minimum of £6 MILLION in the 18 months since the MOT system had a shakeup.
However, if a motorist is caught driving their car despite a ‘dangerous’ MOT classification, they could face a £2,500 penalty.
The investigation was carried out by Halfords Autocentres as MOT stations across the UK deal with their busiest month of the year.
In March, 2017, a record-breaking 562,337 new cars were registered. These cars are now three years old and are expected to have their first MOT this month.
Over a fifth of those without a valid MoT said they had simply forgotten about the annual safety check and a small percentage admitted they did not know when their vehicle was due to be tested.
However, the true number of cars running around without MoTs is thought to be many times higher but they have so far evaded detection, either because they are rarely used, in more remote areas or even maybe using false number plates copied from a vehicle which has an MoT.