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What to do if your car fails its MOT

What to do if your car fails its MOTPhoto from Unsplash

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More than a third of cars fail their MOT the first time, but it can still be a shock if it’s never happened to you before. It’s also extremely frustrating, especially if you really rely on your car to get around. Getting it fixed could be pricey, and you’re not allowed on the road until it’s deemed roadworthy.

Understanding the next steps you can take helps you to decide on your next move, whether that’s paying to have essential repairs done, appealing the failed test, or even trading in your car for a new one. If your car has failed its MOT, here are some things you can do.

Don’t drive it

Firstly, make sure you know the rules when it comes to failed MOTs. You will be issued with a VT30 Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate, which indicates that your car has failed its test and explains the reasons why.

This certificate means your car isn’t safe to drive on the road and you’ll need to get it repaired before you can drive it. Of course, you can still drive, and you might be able to get a courtesy car while yours is being fixed. Make sure you keep the VT30 because you will need it to re-book your test or if you want to appeal the decision.

Consider necessary repairs

If your car has failed its test, you will be given a list of reasons. You can then use this to understand what repairs need to be carried out to get your car roadworthy again. It could be something relatively simple, or your car might require more extensive repairs. If the test centre you used also offers repairs, you can leave your car with them to get fixed. You can also have your car repaired elsewhere if you want to.

Get a new car

In some cases, it might not be worth it to have your car repaired. When there are major problems, it could be expensive to get them fixed. You might decide that it makes more sense to scrap your car instead of repairing it.

You can often be paid for scrapping your car, so you have money to put towards a new one. Buying a new car is sometimes the more financially-sound decision, and it also means you’ll have a safer car to drive too. There are ways to save money, such as buying a used car.

Appeal or retest

If you think that your car shouldn’t have failed its test, you can appeal it. To do this, you can fill out a Complain about an MOT test form and send it to the DVLA. However, before you do this, speak to the test centre to make sure you understand the test result.

To retest your car after repairs, you may have a couple of options. In some cases, you have one day to repair your car and bring it back for a free partial retest. In other cases, you have 10 days to return for a partial or full retest.

It’s disappointing when your car fails its MOT, but there are options you can choose to address the problem.

** This is a collaborative post

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