One of the major regulations related to the UK’s roads are that vehicles older than three years are, by law, required to have a valid Ministry of Transport (MOT) test which they’ve passed. However, whether due to minor, major or dangerous issues, around one-third of cars fail the MOT vehicle test each year and this can be worrisome and have some financial implications for your budget. But all is not lost. You have a couple of options at your disposal to ensure that your car can legally be driven on the roads again after you pass the MOT retest. Wondering what the regulations state? Let’s take a closer look.

What happens if your car fails an MOT test?

When you take your car to an MOT test centre for its annual testing, you will be notified that you’ve either passed or failed the test. Passing the test is not a focus of this article. However, failing is not the be all and end all of your road experience. In fact, you’ve got several options.

Firstly though, it must be noted that the answer to the question can you still drive your car if it fails an MOT, is that it depends. If you have what are considered “minor defects”, these will usually not be sufficient to fail your test and you can still drive your car although it’s highly advisable that you have the defects fixed first. If you have “major defects”, you are only allowed to drive your car to a repair centre where the defects can be addressed. Finally, if your MOT test indicates “dangerous defects”, you are not allowed to drive your car at all. It’s also worth noting that your insurance is unlikely to cover your vehicle in the event of you driving your vehicle with a failed MOT.

How long do you have to fix a failed MOT?

Another important question that arises relates to the time frames of having your car fixed after failing an MOT test. In fact, many people wonder “if my car fails an MOT, how long do I have to fix it” There is no single answer to this question but you do have several options at your disposal. Here’s what you can do:

  • Leave it at the MOT centre to be fixed immediately: If the test centre which performed your MOT test does repairs, you can have your vehicle repaired there by asking them to fix the issues which caused the failure. If such repairs are carried out within 10 working days, you can ask the MOT centre to do a partial retest where only the issues identified on the VT30 certificate are checked. If you pass this partial retest, you get your new MOT certificate which is valid for another year and your vehicle will be roadworthy again.
  • Bring it back within one working day: as mentioned above, in some cases, you have the option to drive your car even if it’s failed the MOT test. This is if the MOT test has identified “minor” or “major” defects. In this scenario, you can drive your car, take it somewhere else for repairs and bring it back to the original testing centre for a free partial retest. The only challenge here is that you’re severely limited in terms of time and you may not be able to have all the necessary repairs carried out on time for the free partial retest.
  • Bring it back within 10 working days: if you cannot bring your car back within one working day, you can also have it repaired and then bring it back for a partial retest within 10 days. This partial retest is usually around half of the original MOT fee.
  • After 10 working days: should it take longer than 10 working days to have your car repaired, you can bring it back to the MOT centre after these 10 days. However, your car will have to undergo a full MOT test and the full MOT test fee will be applied.

With these options in mind, when it comes to the question of whether you can drive your car if it fails an MOT before the due date, ideally what you want to do is ensure that you take it for repairs as soon as possible. However, this will depend on the type of defect identified when you go through your MOT check. Also worth knowing is that you can always appeal an MOT failed test but it’s important to know that your MOT testing centre has a wide number of different types of checks that constitute the full and comprehensive MOT test.

Why should you go to a MOT test?

Going for your MOT test is an important part of any vehicle owner’s responsibilities in ensuring that their car is safe and roadworthy for them and for others on the road. While an MOT entails some expenses, it’s a legal obligation and you should always book your MOT test before the MOT certificate expires every 12 months. If you fail your MOT test in Leicester, you should not let that cause you sleepless nights. You can always rely on our professional car services and MOT testing centre in Leicester so that you pass your MOT with flying colours and enjoy your shiny new MOT certificate once again.