What Happens If a Car Fails an MOT: Consequences and Next Steps

When a car fails its MOT, it means that it has not met the minimum standards for safety, emissions, and roadworthiness. The MOT test is an annual inspection that all cars over three years old must pass to ensure they are safe to drive on the roads. If a car fails its MOT, it cannot legally be driven until the necessary repairs have been made.

The reasons for an MOT failure can vary from minor issues such as a blown bulb to more serious problems like faulty brakes or suspension. The MOT test covers a wide range of components, including lights, tyres, brakes, steering, suspension, exhaust emissions, and more. If any of these components are found to be faulty or not working correctly, the car will fail its MOT.

Immediate Consequences of MOT Failure

Legal Implications

When a car fails its MOT, the immediate consequence is that it is illegal to drive on public roads until the issues identified during the test are fixed and the vehicle passes a retest. Driving a car with an expired MOT certificate can result in a hefty fine of up to £1,000. In addition, driving without a valid MOT certificate can invalidate the car insurance, which can lead to further legal repercussions in the event of an accident.

Driving Restrictions

In addition to the legal implications, failing an MOT test means that the car cannot be driven until the necessary repairs are made. This can be inconvenient for car owners who rely on their vehicle for daily transportation. Driving a car with known issues can also be dangerous and lead to further damage to the vehicle or cause accidents.

It is important to note that some MOT failures can result in a car being classified as dangerous, which means it cannot be driven until the issues are fixed. This can be a significant inconvenience for car owners, as the repairs required may be extensive and costly.

In summary, failing an MOT test can have immediate legal and practical consequences for car owners. It is important to address any issues identified during the test promptly to avoid further complications.

Repair and Retest Procedures

In the event that a car fails its MOT, it is necessary to have the identified issues repaired before a retest can be conducted. The repair and retest procedures are outlined below.

Minor Repairs

If the car fails its MOT due to minor issues that can be easily fixed, the mechanic conducting the test may offer to repair the issues on the spot. If the repairs are completed within the allotted time, the car can then be retested without charge.

Major and Dangerous Faults

If the car fails its MOT due to major or dangerous faults, it is necessary to have the issues repaired before a retest can be conducted. The car cannot be driven until the issues are resolved. The mechanic conducting the test will provide a list of the required repairs and an estimate of the cost. Once the repairs are completed, the car can be retested.

Partial Retest

If the car fails its MOT due to specific issues, a partial retest may be conducted. This means that only the areas that failed the initial test will be retested. The retest must be conducted within 10 working days of the initial test, and there is no charge if the retest is conducted at the same testing station.

Full Retest

If the car fails its MOT due to a combination of issues or the issues were not resolved within the allotted time, a full retest is required. The car must be repaired and retested at a different testing station, and there is a charge for the retest.

It is important to note that driving a car without a valid MOT certificate is illegal, and can result in fines and penalty points on the driver’s license. It is recommended to have any identified issues repaired as soon as possible to avoid any legal repercussions.

Financial Implications

Cost of Repairs

If a car fails its MOT, the cost of repairs can be significant. The cost will depend on the severity of the faults found during the MOT test. Some minor repairs such as replacing a light bulb or a worn tyre may not cost much, but more significant repairs such as replacing the brakes or suspension can be expensive.

It is important to note that the cost of repairs will vary depending on the make and model of the car. Older cars may also be more expensive to repair due to the availability of parts. It is recommended to get a quote from a reputable garage before proceeding with any repairs.

Impact on Insurance Premiums

Failing an MOT can also have an impact on insurance premiums. If a car fails its MOT and is not roadworthy, it may be illegal to drive. This can result in points on the driver’s license and an increase in insurance premiums.

Insurance companies may also view a failed MOT as a sign that the car is not well-maintained and may be more likely to have future accidents or breakdowns. This can result in higher insurance premiums or even the cancellation of the policy.

It is important to ensure that a car is roadworthy and passes its MOT to avoid any financial implications. Regular maintenance and servicing can also help to prevent any major faults from occurring and reduce the risk of failing an MOT.

Long-Term Effects on Vehicle Ownership

Resale Value

When a car fails its MOT, it can have a significant impact on the resale value. A failed MOT indicates that the vehicle has failed to meet the minimum safety and environmental standards required by law. This can make potential buyers wary of purchasing the vehicle, especially if they are not mechanically inclined and are unsure of the extent of the repairs needed to pass the MOT.

In addition, a failed MOT can also affect the negotiating power of the seller. Buyers may use the failed MOT as a bargaining chip to lower the price of the vehicle. This can result in the seller receiving less money for the car than they had anticipated.

Vehicle Depreciation

A failed MOT can also have long-term effects on the depreciation of the vehicle. Depreciation is the decrease in the value of a car over time, and it is affected by a number of factors, including the age and condition of the vehicle.

When a car fails its MOT, it can be an indication of poor maintenance and neglect. This can cause the vehicle to depreciate at a faster rate than a well-maintained car. In addition, the cost of repairs needed to pass the MOT can also contribute to the depreciation of the vehicle.

Overall, a failed MOT can have significant long-term effects on the ownership of a vehicle, including a decrease in resale value and an increase in depreciation. It is important for vehicle owners to take the necessary steps to ensure that their car passes the MOT and meets the required safety and environmental standards.

Preventative Measures

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to keep a car in good condition and to prevent it from failing an MOT test. A car that is well-maintained is less likely to have major faults that could result in an MOT failure. Regular maintenance includes checking and replacing fluids, such as oil and coolant, as well as inspecting the brakes, tyres, and lights.

To ensure that the car is in good condition, it is recommended to have it serviced at least once a year or every 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. During a service, a qualified mechanic will inspect the car’s various components and replace any worn or damaged parts.

Pre-MOT Checks

Before taking the car for an MOT test, it is advisable to carry out some pre-MOT checks to identify any potential issues that could result in an MOT failure. These checks can be carried out by the car owner or a qualified mechanic.

Some of the pre-MOT checks that should be carried out include inspecting the lights, brakes, tyres, and suspension. It is also important to check the car’s emissions to ensure that it meets the required standards.

Additionally, it is recommended to check the car’s paperwork to ensure that it has been properly maintained and serviced. The car’s service history should be up-to-date, and any repairs or replacements should be documented.

By carrying out regular maintenance and pre-MOT checks, car owners can reduce the risk of their car failing an MOT test. This not only saves money but also ensures that the car is safe and roadworthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to repair my vehicle after it fails its MOT?

After your vehicle fails its MOT, you are given a VT30 certificate that lists the reasons for the failure. You have until the end of the next working day to repair the faults and have the vehicle retested. If you take longer than this, you will need to pay for a full MOT test again.

Can I drive my car after it fails the MOT, before it’s repaired?

If your vehicle fails its MOT, you are only allowed to drive it if the previous year’s MOT is still valid, the vehicle is roadworthy, and the failed items do not make the vehicle dangerous. However, it is recommended that you get the repairs done before driving the vehicle again.

What are the consequences of driving with a failed MOT?

If you are caught driving a vehicle with a failed MOT, you could be fined up to £2,500, receive penalty points on your license, and your vehicle could be impounded. Additionally, your insurance may be invalidated, and you could be liable for any accidents or damage caused.

What constitutes a dangerous fault on an MOT test?

A dangerous fault is a fault that poses an immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment. If your vehicle has a dangerous fault, it will fail the MOT test, and you will not be allowed to drive it until the fault is repaired.

Am I allowed to take my car to a different garage after a failed MOT?

Yes, you are allowed to take your vehicle to a different garage for repairs after it fails the MOT. However, you will need to pay for a full MOT test again at the new garage.

Is the MOT fee still applicable if my vehicle fails the test?

Yes, you will still need to pay the full MOT fee, even if your vehicle fails the test. However, some garages may offer a free or discounted retest if the repairs are carried out by them within a certain time frame.