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What happens if my car fails its MOT

16th October 2020

If your car fails its MOT test, you will be presented with a VT30 ‘Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate’ – which informs you that your vehicle has not passed the test. This certificate also lists the reasons why your vehicle failed. So, what do you do now? Are you allowed to drive your vehicle, and can you appeal the MOT decision if you believe it’s unwarranted? Our guide has you covered.

What to do if your car fails its MOT

After being issues your VT30 ‘Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate’, you will be legally obliged to address the necessary issues listed, and ensure that all repairs on the vehicle are carried out. On your certificate, you will receive a list of reasons why your vehicle has failed, as well as advisories which need to be considered before your next MOT test.

Once you have repaired or fixed the issues that have caused your vehicle to fail its MOT, you will then need to have your vehicle retested. For tests and repairs for your failed MOT, there are a few options:

  • Repairs at the test centre – if you have had your MOT undertaken at your local Merityre Specialists branch, you should be able to have your vehicle repaired on site. Often, this can happen on the same day – depending on the number and severity of failing causes. You can leave your vehicle 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. If you choose this option, there is no fee for this.
  • Return in 1 working day – if you want to take the vehicle away for repairs at another garage or dealership, 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 a cost.
  • Returning after 10 working days – if you return your vehicle back to the original test centre, your vehicle will then require a full MOT retest at the full test price.

Note that you are only allowed to drive your vehicle after it fails its MOT to pre-arranged appointments to have repairs, or to have your vehicle retested. It is illegal to drive a vehicle which has a failed or expired MOT. You can only take your vehicle away if your current MOT certificate is still valid, and no ‘dangerous’ problems were listed in the MOT.

Can I appeal a failed MOT?

There is the possibility to appeal a failed MOT if you have reason to believe that the decision to fail the vehicle was unjustified. However, before proceeding with an appeal, it’s advised to try and settle the dispute by discussing the concerns with the test centre.

If you still want to put in an appeal, you will need to fill out a complaint form and send it to the DVSA within 14 working days of your test. The DVSA will then contact you within 5 working days with next steps. The DVSA may then decide to retest your vehicle – which you will be required to pay the full MOT test fee for. However, if your appeal is successful, you will receive some or all of the fee back.

Now you know what to do if your car fails its MOT, book in for your MOT test now. Locate your nearest Merityre Specialists, or get in touch with a member of our helpful team for more information today.