Failing an MOT can leave you feeling helpless as you scratch around desperately trying to work out what to do next, so we thought we’d sit down and answer everything we think you might want to know! If you can’t find what you’re looking for then please do get in touch and one of our advisors will be happy to help.

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Frequently Asked MOT Failure Questions
Can I Sell A Car Or Van That Has Failed Its MOT?

Absolutely! Just because your car can’t be driven on the road doesn’t mean that you’re banned from selling it, although be prepared for the price to be less than if it had sailed through its MOT test. A private buyer may haggle your price down if they know they’ll need to purchase additional spares or tools to get the car back to a roadworthy condition. If you decide to use our service, however, we will compare prices from our nationwide network of buyers and ensure that you get the most competitive and accurate offer possible.

What Causes A Failed MOT?

A vehicle can fail its MOT for a number of reasons, with the most common failures relating to the more obvious components such as brakes, lights and suspension. If your brakes are worn down below the minimum thickness, for example, it will be classed as a major fault and an instant fail, while a loose brake disc is classed as a dangerous defect and your car cannot be driven until it is fixed. Your car can also fail its MOT if your tyres do not conform to the minimum legal tread requirement of 1.6mm, or if you have a crack in your windscreen more than 10mm in diameter in front of the driver’s eyes.

What Happens After A Failed MOT?

If your car has failed its MOT, then you have the option of repairing your car to get it back through an MOT retest. In some cases you won’t even have to pay for your retest, as long as you have repaired the car within the correct time frame. If your car has been deemed dangerous as part of its MOT failure, then you cannot drive it at all until it has been repaired. If the repairs needed are too much for you, then our buyers will be more than happy to take them off your hands.

How Long Do You Have To Fix Your Car After A Failed MOT?

If your old MOT is still valid, then you have until your previous certificate’s expiry date to get the car fixed before it is illegal to be on the road. Contrary to popular belief, there is no grace period after a car’s MOT has expired.

How Much Does A Failed MOT Cost?

In some cases, retesting after a failed MOT won’t cost you anything, other than the cost of the repairs to get the car back into a passable condition. Likewise you could pay a reduced rate for your MOT if you have been able to meet certain criteria, otherwise you will need to pay full price for another MOT test.

Is A Failed MOT Recorded?

Yes. Every MOT test is recorded on the national database and you can access this data at any point from the gov.uk website providing you have the car’s registration details to hand. For a detailed view on each result, you will need the 11-digit number from the vehicle’s V5C document.

Can I Get A Second Opinion On A Failed MOT?

There is nothing to stop you from going to another garage for a second opinion after a failure, but you will need to pay for the second test in full. However, mechanics carrying out MOT tests are usually more likely to have a better understanding of what is required, and the majority of the test is an objective box-ticking exercise. It’s important to remember that if your car has been deemed as a ‘dangerous fail’, then you will not be allowed to drive the car away and will need to arrange transport to an alternative garage.

Is It Illegal To Drive A Car That Has Failed Its MOT?

If the previous MOT has expired then driving without a valid MOT certificate is a crime and could land you a £1000 fine and three points on your licence. Driving without a valid MOT could also invalidate your insurance, which in itself is a crime and could see you facing a fine of up to £2,500. If your car has been deemed a ‘dangerous fail’ then it is illegal to drive on the road, no matter how long you may have left on your previous certificate.

Can A Vehicle That Has Failed Its MOT Be Parked On The Road?

Even if you’re not planning on driving it, any vehicle on the road in any capacity must have a valid MOT and be taxed and insured. If your car does not have a valid MOT with no pass coming in the foreseeable future, then you will need to ensure it’s parked off the road, either in a garage or on a private driveway and that you have registered for a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) from the gov.uk website.