What happens after a failed MOT?

Is there a possibility that cars can remain on the road after failing an MOT?

Delamere Motors – guide to an MOT fail

It’s important that drivers understand the significance of their MOT test. It is primarily designed to ensure your vehicle is safe to be on the road. Every car must pass an MOT test each year once it is three years old. In this article, Delamere Motors takes a quick look at the laws surrounding the test itself and what happens if you were to receive an MOT fail from your garage.

A mechanic looking at a clipboard while another mechanic works on a car in the background

Timing your MOT just right

If a driver wants to keep his or her MOT renewal date the same but take the test earlier (which is always a good approach to take, in case your car doesn’t pass the test) the MOT regulations states that it is possible to “get an MOT up to a month (minus a day)” early. This allows for time for repairs to be conducted and a retest to be done at a suitable time frame.

Driving a car after an MOT fail

Technically, if your car fails an MOT test, it is immediately deemed unfit to be on the road. This is something of a grey area; the test results immediately get uploaded to a national database, which could overrule your old certificate, in the eyes of the police. The official line from the DVSA is that it CAN still be driven until the expiration of the existing MOT certificate. We would advise caution should your vehicle fail whilst still within its previous test period. Check the ‘Consequences of driving a car with an expired MOT’ section further down this blog for advice.

Driving a car that is unsuitable for the road

Drivers should be aware of the consequences of driving a car that is considered unroadworthy after failing an MOT test. If a driver gets into an accident while driving the car or if a police officer finds that the car is not roadworthy, drivers can be banned from driving, receive a fine of up to £2500 and incur penalty points.

Consequences of driving a car with an expired MOT

Drivers beware, if a car has no valid MOT, it can result in a loss of insurance for the car and even bring a hefty fine. Generally, cars should not be driven without a valid MOT, but it is possible to legally drive a car in certain situations. Either when it is being taken to an MOT appointment that the driver has already scheduled, or the driver is taking the car to a garage for repairs, so it will pass the upcoming MOT. If the Police do pull you over when your vehicle does not hold a valid MOT certificate, they may well contact whichever garage you’re travelling to, to verify you have an appointment. If you do require an MOT test, make sure you’ve made an appointment with us prior to driving your vehicle.

Steps after failing the MOT test: retaking the test

There are situations that only require partial re-tests. If this is the case, a car can stay in the test centre whilst repairs are undertaken, for up to ten working days and be re-tested for no fee or a reduced MOT fee. If a car totally fails an MOT on certain criteria, a driver can retake the test without charge, if the re-test is taken before the next working day is over. This applies even if the car has been removed from the test centre for repairs to take place.

Steps after failing the MOT test: appealing the test

Drivers do not need to accept an MOT failure if they think it is an incorrect decision. The law allows drivers to reach out to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (formerly VOSA). This appeal must be taken within fourteen days of an MOT fail. Once this appeal is made, drivers should not make any modifications to the car in question. The Agency will schedule an appointment within the next five days for which the driver must pay. These appeals are often successful: forty-eight percent of appeals overturned the original failure in 2014. That’s why it’s important to get your MOT test conducted by an approved DVSA garage. They undergo strict training regularly so that your MOT test is conducted professionally to the required standards. Getting an MOT from a garage you can trust will help ensure you pass your MOT when you need to.

Delamere Motors offers MOT testing by our in-house, DVSA trained technicians. Our tests are always fair and impartial and we keep in contact with our customers throughout the process. We’ll always speak with you before carrying out any repair work. Book your MOT or car service online today.