Several cars undergoing maintenance work at a garage

Everything You Need to Know About MOT Retests

So your car has failed its MOT and you’re now left standing nervously in the entrance of the MOT test centre, holding an unwanted piece of paper detailing what’s not right with it. Do not fear, though, as all is not yet lost. In fact, in some cases – aside from the work required to get the car back to a passable standard – you may not even have to pay an MOT retest fee.

Let us here at Scrap Car Comparison take you through every step of the journey and get you back on the road – or alternatively, we can help take all the stress away in a hassle-free manner and get some money back into your account.

A car drives past a sign for an MOT testing centre

What is an MOT retest?

Not all MOT test failures are an instant death knell for your car, with some failures being quick and easy fixes. Failures surrounding tyres, lights, brakes and windscreen wipers are all relatively easy to fix and can often be sorted on the same day as the original test.

Do you pay for an MOT retest?

There are a few instances where there is no MOT retest fee involved. If you leave your vehicle at the test centre for the repairs to take place, you will only require a partial retest providing it is done within the next 10 working days and will not have to pay any additional fees.

If your car is roadworthy and the previous MOT is yet to run out, you may take your car away for repairs. If the MOT has run out then you can only drive your car to have the failures rectified and then back to a prearranged MOT test appointment. In either instance, providing you bring the car back to the same test centre by the end of the next working day, and the defects can be found on the list of criteria specifying free retests, you will not have to pay again for a partial retest.

If you take the car away to be repaired and do not return by the end of the next working day, you have 10 working days where you may be charged a partial retest fee, however in any other case you will need to get the car fully retested and pay the full MOT test fee once again.

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What repairs allow me a free retest?

If your MOT has failed because of one of the following items and you return by the end of the next working day, you will not have to pay a partial retest fee:

  • Access panels
  • Battery
  • Bonnet
  • Boot lid
  • Brake pedal anti-slip device
  • Doors (including hinges, catches and pillars)
  • Drop-sides
  • Electrical wiring
  • Fuel filler cap
  • Headlamp cleaning or levelling devices
  • Horn
  • Lamps (excluding headlamp aim)
  • Loading door
  • Main beam ‘tell-tale’
  • Mirrors
  • Rear reflectors
  • Registration plates
  • Seatbelts (but not anchorages)
  • Seats
  • Sharp edges or projections
  • Steering wheel
  • Tailboard
  • Tailgate
  • Trailer electrical sockets
  • Towbars (excluding body around anchorage points)
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Windscreen glass, wipers and washers
  • Wheels and tyres (excluding motorcycles and motorcycles with sidecars)

You can learn more about exactly what is checked during an MOT here.

How much is a partial MOT retest?

The MOT retest cost will depend on a number of figures surrounding your second test. The partial MOT retest fee will be half the price of a full test, which is set at a maximum of £54.85, so the most you can be charged for a partial MOT retest is £27.43. However, some garages will offer reduced rates for their MOT pricing, so you could save yourself a little cash if you look around before booking your initial test.

How long do you have to retest your MOT?

You have 10 working days to get your MOT retested before having to pay for a second full MOT test. 

If you are taking your car away for repairs, you have until the end of the next working day to bring the car back to the same test centre to avoid paying for any MOT retest fees, otherwise you will incur a partial retest fee. If you leave your car at the MOT test centre for the repairs to take place then you have 10 working days to have a free partial MOT retest.

Can I drive my car while waiting for an MOT retest?

Providing your previous MOT certificate is still valid, then you can drive your vehicle away, as long as it still meets the minimum standards of roadworthiness. This means the car must have clear windows, working brakes and lights and with tyre tread no shallower than 1.6mm.

If your MOT has run out then you are only allowed to take your vehicle away if you are taking it to have the failed elements fixed or bringing it to a prearranged MOT test appointment.

What happens if your car fails its retest?

If your car fails its MOT retest, the process begins again and you have another 10 working days before you will be required to have a full MOT test. However, do bear in mind that if there is a lot of work needing to be done to get the car back to a fully acceptable MOT, most test centres will not look too kindly on you coming in once a week to extend your retest time. It will also look pretty poor on your MOT history and could negatively affect the value of your car.

Can an MOT retest be done at a different garage?

In order to get an MOT retest you must go back to the same garage that did the original test. You can take your car anywhere for the work to be carried out, but if you were to ask another garage to carry out an MOT test you would have to pay the full amount for an MOT test.

person with clipboard checking inside a car

How do I book an MOT retest?

There is no specific booking process with regards to an MOT retest, you just need to ensure that you are in communication with your garage as to when you have completed the repairs to ensure that you get your retest sorted before the end of the 10 working day cut-off point. If you leave the car at the garage for the repairs, the process is a lot easier.

How long does an MOT retest take?

The length of an MOT retest will depend entirely on the amount of work that is needed to get the car back to a point where it will pass its MOT. Generally they will only check the parts of your vehicle that failed the initial MOT test, so it is a much shorter process than a full MOT.

Has your car recently failed its MOT and you’re now looking at the options of repairs and retests? If it’s looking like you’re going to be staring at a long term problem, then maybe it’s time to move on – which is where we come in! Here at Scrap Car Comparison we can make the process of scrapping your car near you as simple and stress-free as possible and we guarantee that the quote you get from us will be the best you’ll find anywhere. Why not get started using our handy online quote generator and discover just how much your scrap could be worth.

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