What happens if my car fails its MOT?

Thursday 12th September 2019

MOT Advisory Notes

It’s that time of year again – the annual MOT. Although it may seem like no time has passed at all since your last test, it’s important to understand the implications of what happens if your car fails its MOT… can you still drive it? What if it’s failed before the expiry date? Find out everything about what happens if your car fails its MOT now.

What to do if your car fails its MOT

If your car has failed its MOT, you will be issued with a VT30 ‘Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate’. This will inform you that your vehicle has not passed the test and list the reasons why your vehicle failed its MOT.

You will then be obliged to address the issues listed and carry out any repairs to your vehicle before it is retested. Regarding repairs and retests, there are few options to choose from:

  • Repairs at the test centre – if you have had your MOT undertaken at your local Formula One Autocentre, you should be able to have your vehicle repaired on site. The vehicle can be left at the garage for repair and before the end of 10 working days following the day it originally failed (if not before) for a partial retest. There is no fee for this.
  • Return in 1 working day – if you want to take the vehicle away for repairs, you can then return to the original test centre the next working day for a free partial retest on repair of select items.
  • Return within 10 working days – if you’ve removed the vehicle from the test centre and returned it within 10 working days, a partial retest will be required at cost.
  • Returning after 10 working days – in this instance, your vehicle will require a full MOT retest at the full test price.

Find out more about our MOT retesting conditions today.

Car failed MOT – can I still drive it?

You can take your vehicle away if:

  • Your current MOT certificate is still valid
  • No ‘dangerous’ problems were listed in the MOT

Otherwise, you’ll need to get it repaired before you can drive. If you can take your vehicle away, it must still meet the minimum standards of roadworthiness at all times. You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and receive 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle that has failed its MOT because of a ‘dangerous’ problem.

Driving a car that has not passed its MOT is also likely to invalidate your car insurance cover. This means that if you are involved in an accident, it could cost you a fair bit of money as your insurance may no longer cover you while you don’t have a valid MOT certificate.

Failed MOT before expiry date

Although you would have tested your vehicle early before the certificate expires, it is not recommended to drive a car that is deemed as un-roadworthy. Even though your previous MOT has not expired, the DVSA guidance rules state that your vehicle needs to meet standards of roadworthiness at all times, or you can expect a fine.

Appealing failed MOTs

There is the option to appeal a failed MOT if you believe the decision to fail the vehicle was unwarranted. It’s always advised to initially discuss your concerns with the test centre. If this doesn’t rectify the situation and you wish to appeal an MOT test decision, you will need to fill out a complaint form and send this off to the DVSA within 14 working days of the test date. Do not undertake repairs on the vehicle during this time.

DVSA will then contact you within 5 working days to discuss it. If the DVSA chooses to retest your vehicle, you will be required to pay the full MOT test fee again. If your appeal is successful, you will receive some or all of the fee back. If you are worried that your MOT certificate isn’t genuine, you can check its legitimacy on the GOV website.

If your MOT is due or around the corner, book your MOT with us today at your local Formula One Autocentre. You can book up to 6 months in advance! Alternatively, find out more information on how long an MOT takes, how early you can MOT your car and more from our MOT advice section.

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