Martin Slack's Hyundai coupe was spotted on Goodacre Street, on October 11, last year.
Checks showed he had been banned until he passes an extended test, for dangerous driving, at Nottingham Crown Court, in November 2010.
Probation officer Cheryl Nisbet said Slack thought the ban was over and had only been driving for a week, but added: "He has been driving more than he cares to admit."
Sarah Neale, mitigating, said he bought the car with a view to repairing it and making some money but "unfortunately temptation got the better of him."
She said the former car valeter left the house after arguing with his partner, and said is due to start a new job as a mechanic, and will now need to take two buses to get there.
Slack, 28, of Kedleston Walk, admitted driving while disqualified and without insurance, on May 17.
On Thursday, district judge Andrew Meachin told him: "I have no doubt that you knew you weren't allowed to drive."
He gave Slack a 12 month community order, with 120 hours of unpaid work, and banned him from driving for six months.
He was also fined £250 for driving with no insurance, and must pay £85 costs and an £85 government surcharge.