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What happens if my car fails its MOT?

If your car has failed its MOT, you may be wondering, what happens next? Well, the first thing to do is not panic - in the UK, over a third of motor vehicles fail their MOT on the first attempt according to the DVSA due to not meeting the MOT requirements.

Failing your MOT might not be ideal, but in most cases, the major and dangerous defects which could fail your MOT can be fixed quickly and easily. The most important thing is ensuring your vehicle is road safe and not a danger to you or other road users - as, legally, you are unable to drive your vehicle if it is deemed as unroadworthy. To find out what happens if your car fails its MOT, and ensure you take the right steps, read our advice below.

What to do if your car fails its MOT

After receiving the confirmation that your car or van has failed its MOT, a PTA mechanic will inform you of the options now available to you. You can choose to have your vehicle repaired at the same garage, fixed elsewhere and brought back for a partial re-test or in some cases you may feel that an appeal is necessary.

My car failed its MOT - can I drive?

Generally, you should not drive a car that has failed its MOT - as this is illegal. However, there are certain scenarios where it is permissible - you can drive your car after it has not passed its MOT provided:


It is important to note that driving a car that has failed its MOT is not advised and could mean you are not covered by your insurance - as well as resulting in a hefty fine.

I don?t think my car should have failed its MOT - what should I do?

In the scenario where a mistake may have been made and you believe your car has been wrongly failed, you may choose to go through the appeals procedure. We advise that you initially have a conversation with the mechanics at the garage to understand why your vehicle has failed. If you are still unhappy with the decision after this interaction, there is an appeals procedure in place.

To appeal the decision, you will first need to fill out a complaint form and send this to the DVLA within 14 working days of the test date. It is important that you do not undertake any of your own repairs during this time. The DVSA will then contact you within 5 working days to discuss the appeal.

If a second MOT is agreed by the DVSA, you will be asked to fund it initially. However, this will be refunded to you either in full or partly if the vehicle then passes.

We offer MOTs for a range of vehicles including cars, vans and motorbikes. Book your MOT with PTA today at your local garage!